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Malaga's Roberto goes down under a challenge during Sunday's match. Agencia LOF
Malaga CF's promotion hopes dwindle after Andalusian derby defeat at Cordoba
Football

Malaga CF's promotion hopes dwindle after Andalusian derby defeat at Cordoba

Despite several early chances and the backing of 2,000 travelling fans, Sergio Pellicer's side succumbed to a soft second-half goal

Daryl Finch

Malaga

Monday, 29 April 2024, 07:31

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Malaga CF's hopes of finishing in second place seem to be over after suffering a 1-0 defeat in an Andalusian derby away at Cordoba.

Despite enjoying support from around 2,000 travelling fans at the Nuevo Arcángel, Malaga failed to capitalise on their initial momentum.

In fact, the hosts had goalkeeper Carlos Marín to thank for keeping them in the game early on as he denied a goalbound header from Roberto from a corner and a long-range volley from Víctor García.

Marín also had his palms stung by a strike from distance by Kevin, and was sent scrambling by David Larrubia's effort that whistled past the post.

Momentum swing

However, as the game progressed, Cordoba, also among the favourites for promotion, started to seize control and test Malaga's defence, getting into dangerous positions albeit without hitting the target.

In fact, it wasn't until the 57th minute when they could finally break the deadlock via a corner kick and header from Carlos Albarrán who escaped his marker and squeezed the ball past Alfonso Herrero in the Malaga goal.

Soon after, Antonio Casas almost doubled the hosts' lead but his near-post strike was pushed away by Herrero.

Despite tactical substitutions by Malaga coach Sergio Pellicer, including bringing on Ramón in a bid to spark a comeback, his team struggled to regain momentum and as the final minutes ticked away, desperation mounted.

In the final seconds, Jokin Gabilondo and Antoñito forced Marín into a crucial double save from a corner, with the keeper ultimately helping them to seal all three points and the much-coveted second place.

Malaga, meanwhile, now sit in fourth, eight points adrift of Cordoba and almost certainly facing the more difficult draw in the Primera RFEF play-offs.

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