Malaga ended their Segunda campaign with a hard-fought draw away at Almeria in what was a goalless but full-blooded Andalusian derby on Monday night which secured the Blue and Whites a 14th-place finish.
After victory over Alcorcón in their last game sealed their Segunda status for another year, coach Sergio Pellicer fielded a much-changed eleven this time around with starts for goalkeeper Gonzalo Crettaz, Renato Santos, Esteban Rolón, Cristo Romero and Sergio Buenacasa.
The visitors to the Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos started well and central defender David Lombán had his side's first chance, thumping a header wide from a corner on ten minutes.
Three minutes later, captain Adrián had a better opportunity but goalkeeper Antonio Sivera barely had to move to save his attempt in the six-yard box.
Tete Morente was next to come close, seeing his powerful long-range strike saved.
In the second 45 minutes, fourth-placed Almeria took the ascendancy, as midfielder Enzo Zidane shot narrowly wide of the post on two occasions.
The home team found the net twice too, but fortunately for Malaga, both of forward Iván Romero’s finishes were flagged for offside.
On 67 minutes, Malaga sprung an attack themselves, but Cifu - charging through the Almeria defence and in a great position to score - inexplicably passed to substitute Armando Sadiku who couldn't finish the chance.
After narrowly avoiding a freak goal, which deflected just over Gonzalo’s crossbar, Malaga nearly stole the points before injury time but Juankar’s effort was clawed away by Sivera at his near post.
The 0-0 result was a fitting end to Malaga’s season - one low on goals but full of defensive solidity and determination, which has ultimately won keeper Munir the Zamora trophy for the fewest goals conceded.
Huesca champions, Dépor and Numancia down
This game was one of only ten final Segunda matches to be played on the final night, after Deportivo couldn’t play their last game at Fuenlabrada due a coronavirus outbreak in the Madrid team’s squad.
Results elsewhere, however, meant the side from A Coruña were ultimately relegated without kicking a ball. Joining them next year in Segunda B are Numancia, despite their win over Tenerife.
A point for Fuenlabrada in the rescheduled game would see them finish in the top six which has wider implications. The play-off matches, therefore, must be put on hold until the result of the Deportivo-Fuenlabrada match is known.
At the top, Huesca, who beat Sporting 1-0, have leapfrogged Cadiz to be crowned champions after the Andalusians lost at home to Albacete (1-0).