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Dioni celebrates scoring his goal from the penalty spot. Ñito Salas
Dioni penalty seals valuable win for Malaga CF against promotion rivals
Football

Dioni penalty seals valuable win for Malaga CF against promotion rivals

A 1-0 win over Ibiza at La Rosaleda on Sunday afternoon means the gap to second place is now just four points

Daryl Finch

Malaga

Sunday, 3 March 2024, 22:34

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In an tense showdown at La Rosaleda this Sunday afternoon (3 March), Malaga showed their teeth against promotion rivals Ibiza, closing the gap to the second-placed team to just four points after emerging with a hard-fought 1-0 win.

With another new record attendance set for this season (26,130), La Rosaleda transformed into a fortress for the home side for a must-win game to ensure hopes of automatic promotion weren't completely extinguished.

Backed by their passionate fans, Sergio Pellicer's team demonstrated resilience and determination, maintaining control of the game and defending stoutly against a hardworking and well-drilled Ibiza side.

Despite initial struggles in penetrating the opposition defence, Malaga kept their cool and continued to probe for openings.

Ñito Salas
Imagen principal - Dioni penalty seals valuable win for Malaga CF against promotion rivals
Imagen secundaria 1 - Dioni penalty seals valuable win for Malaga CF against promotion rivals
Imagen secundaria 2 - Dioni penalty seals valuable win for Malaga CF against promotion rivals

Kevin, in particular, proved to be a constant threat with his pace and skill and, just after the start of the second half, he earned the penalty that ultimately decided the game when his heels were clipped from behind as he was bearing down on goal and just about to pull the trigger.

Forward Dioni Villalba stepped up and smashed the ball into the top corner, leaving the keeper with no chance, despite going the right way.

This sparked jubilation around the ground which would ultimately carry the team through some tough moments in the second half, including Ibiza's late attempts to equalise.

However, the hosts stood firm defensively to secure a crucial victory that brings them closer to their promotion aspirations.

After the weekend's action, the Blue and Whites sit in fourth place in Primera RFEF, level on points with third-placed Cordoba but still nine off leaders Castellón.

Up next for Malaga is a trip to face Sanluqueño next Sunday (kick-off 4pm).

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