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Roberto celebrates scoring his equalising goal. Ñito Salas
Fightback comes too late for Malaga CF
Football

Fightback comes too late for Malaga CF

A second draw on the bounce sees the side's chances of automatic promotion slipping away

Daryl Finch

Malaga

Monday, 1 April 2024, 15:02

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Malaga CF's chances of automatic promotion appear to be over after only managing a 1-1 draw with Linares at La Rosaleda on Sunday afternoon.

Sergio Pellicer's side had to come back from a goal down after a poor first 45 minutes left them with too much to do in the second half.

Linares flew out of the traps and could have taken the lead almost immediately. The visitors' makeshift winger, Dani Perejón, caused no end of problems, forcing keeper Alfonso Herrero to make an excellent reflex save with his feet.

Then, just minutes before half time, Perejón's incisive run was picked out with a perfectly weighted through ball in behind Einar Galilea and the Linares man prodded the ball past the outrushing keeper to give his side the lead.

Having clearly missed the injured in-form duo of Genaro and Dani Lorenzo, and playing so poorly up until that point, the only way was up for the hosts after the break.

Propelled by a triple half-time change, including the first appearance on the season for midfielder Ramón, the hosts were more incisive with the ball after the restart.

Winger Kevin tried to force the issue, bringing a comfortable save from Samuel Casado from a tight angle, before later going down in the box under a challenge he thought should have earned a penalty.

A half-full La Rosaleda was appealing for a penalty later, too, when Roberto was seemingly pulled to the ground. Again, the referee waved 'play on'.

The equaliser eventually came with 20 minutes left to go when Roberto converted David Ferreiro's dinked cross from the right with a powerful header.

However, this ultimately proved to be too little, too late. In the latter stages, the game could have gone either way. Linares spurned a good chance late on, firing a close-range rebound over the bar, while Roberto rattled the crossbar with a header for Malaga.

Ultimately, the draw, Malaga's second in a row, was a fair result. However, it now leaves them nine points adrift of league leaders Castellón with just eight games left to play.

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