Monday, 6 November 2023, 06:51
Malaga fought back from going a goal behind to secure a point against Andalusian neighbours Cordoba thanks to a late equaliser from youngster Haitam on Sunday night.
La Rosaleda stadium was rocking for the local derby game in which, for large portions of the game, the visitors were, in fact, the better side.
In the first half in particular, Cordoba played with a conviction and style which far from reflected the form table. Malaga looked disjointed, and struggled to maintain possession for any period of time, giving the ball away needlessly, to the frustration of the home supporters.
Eventually, the pressure told and Cordoba took the lead five minutes before half time, when the lively duo of Cristian Carracedo and Simo Bouzaidi combined, with the latter converting the former’s chipped cross with a close-range diving header.
Despite Malaga coach Sergio Pellicer withdrawing the popular Kevin and Genaro in an attempt to turn around his team’s fortunes, Cordoba remained in the ascendency after the break.
Carracedo and Simo then almost repeated the trick, but this time, with an open goal at his mercy, Simo couldn’t slide far enough to connect with the ball flashed across the face of goal.
With just ten minutes left to go, a spectacular save by Alfonso Herrero to deny former Malaga man Kuki Zalazar's point-blank header kept his side in the game going into the final exchanges.
Despite the poor showing until then, this moment gave the home faithful hope and they continued to back their team right to the death. And it paid off.
A scrappy pull-back from Roberto made its way through to substitute Haitam near the penalty spot to sweep home the equaliser with just four minutes on the clock.
Suddenly, with the wind in their sails, Malaga were pushing for the winner, but it was ultimately a case of too little, too late. Einar's second yellow in stoppage time didn't help either.
The draw sees the third-placed Blue and Whites lose ground on leaders Castellón, with the gap now extending to four points.
Next is a trip to second-placed Ibiza on Sunday (kick-off 4pm).
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