Malaga preserve Segunda status with big home win

Juanpi opened the scoring on Friday night.
Juanpi opened the scoring on Friday night. / Salvador Salas
  • Goals from Juanpi and Tete Morente ensured the Blue and Whites avoided the drop to the third tier with a game to spare

Malaga will be playing Segunda División football next season after excellent goals from Juanpi and Tete Morente gave them a deserved victory over Alcorcón at La Rosaleda on Friday night

After a crushing defeat in their last game put them back into relegation trouble, Malaga entered the match with nerves jangling but kept their cool against the division’s second-best away team, whose promotion hopes are now over.

Unsurprisingly, the game got off to a tense start, with the best openings coming from free kicks.

For Malaga, Juanpi’s dangerous delivery flashed narrowly wide on four minutes with nobody there to apply the finishing touch.

Soon after, Alcorcón striker Juan Martínez – or Stoichkov as he’s known after the Barcelona legend – couldn’t quite replicate his namesake’s finesse with a free-kick that drifted just wide of Munir's goal.

Malaga probed the Alcorcón defence, and goalkeeper Dani Jiménez did well to collect Juankar’s low cross following nice play down the left-hand side. Otherwise, Malaga struggled to create any clear chances.

That was until Juanpi rose to the challenge midway through the first half, dribbling marvellously through Alcorcón’s hapless defence before scoring low past Jiménez.

The visitors nearly responded through Stoichkov but he fired twice off target from close-range before half-time.

After the interval, Malaga kept the visitors quiet but didn’t create many opportunities themselves.

It took until 77 minutes for Alcorcón to threaten an equaliser, as André Sousa stung the hands of Munir with a powerful effort from outside the box.

Moments later, Malaga added a second goal. Substitute Hicham crossed to Tete who received the ball, swivelled brilliantly, and finished into the bottom corner past Jiménez to crown an excellent evening for manager Sergio Pellicer and his team.