Cordoba. 2019 has been a year of many changes around Marbella FC, but they go into 2020 in good stead after an impressive 2-1 victory away to Cordoba on Sunday.
David Cubillo's team travelled to El Nuevo Arcángel hoping to become the first visiting team to win there and did just that with an accomplished performance on the road.
After surviving a strong start from the hosts, Marbella gave a good account of themselves in the first half, showing greater tactical nous and purpose in their play and creating the better chances.
Saúl had the first in the 22nd minute when he rattled the crossbar with his header (later ruled offside), before Manel fluffed his lines with a header of his own when it looked easier to score.
Just a minute later was a rare occasion when Cordoba were able to breach the visitors' rearguard: Owusu forced Wilfred into a good reaction save with a header from Fernández's cross.
The breakthrough goal came just after the break when Manel, with yet enough header, left Becerra with no chance between the sticks.
Cordoba coach Raúl Agné reacted by bringing on another striker in the form of Juanto and this paid almost immediate dividends when Owusu connected with De las Cuevas' free-kick to level the scores.
Marbella, however, were not discouraged and retook the lead just six minutes later when Mustafá placed the ball well out of Becerra's reach following Óscar García's flick.
With just a quarter of an hour left to play, Cordoba went for it. Fortunately for Marbella though, their hosts lacked precision in the final third on the day to make their possession pay. That said, Wilfred had to be called upon twice; first to push away a free-kick from De la Cuevas, then to deal with an easy header from Sebas Moyano.
"It was like a final for both teams," said Cubillos following the game. "We wanted to go into the holidays in the promotion places."
The Marbella players therefore were able to enjoy their Christmas break on their return to the Costa as they sit in third place, three points off leaders Cartagena.
Next up is a home clash against San Fernando on Sunday 5 January.