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Juande's first-half header restored parity. Migue Fernández
Anti-climax as 120th anniversary celebration ends in stalemate for Malaga CF
Football

Anti-climax as 120th anniversary celebration ends in stalemate for Malaga CF

Sergio Pellicer's side's hopes of automatic promotion appear to be over after a third draw on the bounce

Daryl Finch

Malaga

Sunday, 7 April 2024, 17:34

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The game that was supposed to be a celebration of 120 years of football in Malaga ultimately ended in disappointment as Ceuta managed to bag a 1-1 draw at La Rosaleda on Sunday afternoon to effectively end the hosts' chances of automatic promotion.

Malaga, wearing a commemorative retro kit for the occasion, set out to seize control of the game early on in a bid to get their season back on track after three draws from the last four games.

However, as the match progressed, both teams cancelled each other out with scoring opportunities scarce for both sides. Only young Irishman Aaron Ochoa could force an attempt on goal for Malaga but his effort missed the target.

Despite the hosts' initial push, they failed to get the goal they needed and it was play-off-chasing Ceuta who capitalised in the 26th minute, with an unmarked Cedric Teguia heading home a cross from the right that keeper Alfonso Herrero won't want to see again.

Quick reaction

This prompted a swift reaction from Sergio Pellicer's side who pressed forward with Genaro leading the charge with a couple of notable chances, especially a clear header that could have levelled the scores.

Then, just before half time, Juande managed just that, adjusting well to head home a deflected freekick from the left at the back post. Again, the keeper probably should have done better.

As the second half commenced, Malaga intensified their efforts in pursuit of a crucial lead. Despite several close calls and dangerous attacks, they couldn't find the back of the net. Meanwhile, the opposition remained a constant threat, with Rodri coming close to scoring, only to be denied by a spectacular save from Herrero.

With the game hanging in the balance, both teams made their final substitutions. But despite Malaga's attempts to mount a comeback, they couldn't find the decisive goal, with right-back Jokin Gabilondo's diving header in stoppage time drawing a heroic save from Pedro López, who ensured the match ended in draw.

This was the third consecutive stalemate for Malaga who are now 11 points off leaders Castellón with just seven games left to play.

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