Genaro's last-minute shot was enough to seal Malaga's win against Xerez and take home the pre-season, La Vendimia trophy. / AGENCIA LOF

Malaga defeat Xerez to win pre-season trophy

Second-half goals by Haitam and Genaro meant that the Blue and Whites avoided another pre-season defeat as they lifted La Vendimia trophy

ANTONIO GÓNGORA / BORJA GUTIÉRREZ MALAGA.

Malaga avoided a shock defeat to fourth-tier Xerez last Saturday evening in one of their final pre-season matches. The Blue and Whites went a goal down in the first half before pulling two back, winning the game and lifting La Vendimia trophy, given to the winner of this annual summer tournament which had its first edition in 1952.

Malaga's head coach Pablo Guede fielded the same starting eleven that finished the previous friendly against Almeria, except for Carlos López, who replaced Rubén Yáñez in goal. Genaro and Escassi were the only first-team players on the pitch for the Costa del Sol club, as the rest were all from the youth team.

The youngsters had a shaky start to the match, but they improved as the first half wore on and it wasn't long before they gained control of the match.

The Blue and Whites were constantly moving towards Xerez's goal thanks to some near passing, though chances in the final third were hard to come by. The hosts then broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark thanks to an error by López in goals.

Impact subs

Xerez took control of the game and were more comfortable on the ball. Malaga then made seven substitutions with half an hour left to give way for the first team players.

The substitutions didn't take long to bring the game level, with Haitam half-volleying a low-driven cross just outside the six-yard box to score Malaga's first of the evening.

The match remained level and it was set to go to a penalty shoot-out, but a well-placed shot from outside the box by Genaro in the final minutes ensured that Malaga sealed both the win and a pre-season trophy.

This latest match was the seventh friendly in just over two weeks. The night before Xerez, Malaga saw out a 1-1 draw with Almeria and a 2-0 loss to Cadiz days before. They are still to play two more games before the start of the league campaign: against Al-Nasr at 7pm on Friday (Marbella Football Center) and Granada on Saturday at 8pm (Los Cármenes stadium).