surinenglish

New low as minnows dump Malaga out of the Copa del Rey in the first round

Malaga forward Armando Sadiku looks on as Escobedo celebrate their second goal.
Malaga forward Armando Sadiku looks on as Escobedo celebrate their second goal. / Agencia LOF
  • Third division Escobedo were the much more ambitious side in the second half as Malaga lacked spark

Malaga's atrocious recent run in the Copa del Rey continued on Tuesday as the side fell to an embarrassing 2-0 defeat away to Third Division side Escobedo.

For the fifth year in succession, the Blue and Whites have been eliminated from Spain's top cup competition in the first round - the fourth time against lower-league opposition.

Tuesday's defeat in Camargo was a new low, however. While losses to Mirandés, Cordoba and Numancia were disappointing, being eliminated by a team two tiers below them, without putting up much of a fight, will go down as one of the most shameful chapters in the club's history.

Coach Víctor used the match as an opportunity to give some of his squad players some game time, but none of Gonzalo, Ismael Casas, Esteban Rolón, Badr Boulahroud or Mohamed Benkhemassa did their cause much good with an abject performance in which they struggled to get close to the home goal with any frequency.

The small, artificial pitch made life difficult for the visitors as they had to be patient and wait for opportunities to switch the play. However, Escobedo's greatest strength was on the counterattack, something Malaga's makeshift midfield struggled to contain. The pace of Luis Muñoz helped to avoid disaster very early on when the defender snuffed out Dalisson just as he was about to get a shot away from the edge of the area.

Malaga's best play in the first half came down the left-hand side and Renato had his side's first chance, sending the ball harmlessly over the crossbar.

Debutant Julio, who led the line up top, then came within centimetres of connecting with a cross into the area but the scores remained level going into the break.

If Malaga looked the more accomplished side in the first half, the second 45 definitely belonged to the hosts; six minutes after the restart they had the lead. Dalisson lifted the ball into the area for Pepín whose effort was blocked, but Malaga keeper Gonzalo could do nothing to stop the rebound from Quintanilla nestling into the back of the net.

With the tide of the game changing, Malaga coach Víctor Sánchez del Amo turned to his top scorer Armando Sadiku for inspiration. The second goal of the game, however, did not go his side's way. Despite bossing the possession, Malaga lacked a cutting edge. Instead, with six minutes to go, Escobedo sealed their passage to the next round with their second goal; Dalisson capitalised on Luis Muñoz's misjudgment of a long ball and lobbed the ball over Gonzalo who stood no chance.

"There's not much that can be said about this game," said Víctor in his post-match press conference. "They did exactly what was required of them and we weren't able to."

Malaga return to league action on Saturday (kick-off 4pm) when they host Lugo in the final game before La Liga takes its winter break.