Malaga Femenino face play-off lottery to remain in the second tier

Encarni plays the ball during Saturday's match in Pozoblanco.
Encarni plays the ball during Saturday's match in Pozoblanco. / ADG
  • With just one game in the normal season remaining, a top-four finish is out of reach for Nati Gutiérrez's team

Malaga's women's team will have to compete in the play-offs to remain in the second tier after defeat against leaders Pozoalbense on Saturday afternoon ruled out any chance of finishing in the top four of Group Sur A of the Liga Reto Iberdrola.

Nati Gutiérrez's side started the game well and went ahead within four minutes through Claudia who converted a good cross from the right with a strong header.

Malaga, however, could and should have put the game out of sight, hitting the woodwork twice in the opening quarter of an hour through María Ruiz and Andrea Ríos.

However, the hosts struck back when it was least expected through a long ball out of defence from Guermazi to María Marín who made no mistake from just inside the area after 28 minutes.

A fine save from Lucía Martín ensured the scores were level at the break and just like at the start of the first half Malaga come out strong.

However, a double change from Pozoalbense changed the dynamic of the game completely and it was the Colombian, Farlyn, who made an immediate difference, giving her side the lead for the first time in the game with an easy tap-in.

Just a minute after Malaga were appealing for a penalty after a tug by Hamidouche on Claudia Jiménez, María Marín made it 3-1 with 20 minutes to go under suspicion of being in an offside position. The goal stood and the game was effectively ended as a competition.

There is now just one game left of the regular season, with Malaga hosting Cáceres this Sunday at noon.