Rubén Castro shooting the equaliser. / Mariano pozo

Malaga remain in deep trouble despite comeback draw

Even after Rubén Castro’s late equaliser against Tenerife on Saturday, the relegation battlers are now four points from safety ahead of their trip to league leaders Eibar this weekend

DARYL FINCH

Malaga remain in deep relegation trouble, despite coming from a goal down to draw 1-1 with fellow strugglers Tenerife at La Rosaleda on Saturday night.

Veteran striker Rúben Castro scored a late equaliser after the home side seemed destined for defeat, after conceding the go-ahead goal with just 15 minutes left on the clock.

Malaga dominated proceedings throughout the game but, as has often been the case this season, failed to convert their superiority into clear, goalscoring opportunities.

1 Malaga
1 Tenerife

    The side managed by Pepe Mel, who was serving the first of his two-game touchline ban, controlled possession, but lacked a cutting edge in the final third, only hitting the target on four occasions.

    In the first half, the clearest of these opportunities fell to Rúben Castro who had his close-range effort cleared off the line by Nikola Šipčić after it got the better of former Malaga keeper Juan Soriano.

    However, some speculative efforts aside, Malaga rarely troubled the opposition goal and Tenerife grew into the game in the second half, capitalising on sloppy play by the home side to threaten on the transition.

    So, when Iván Romero’s cutback from the byline was swept into the roof of Rubén Yáñez’s net by London-born youngster Samuel Shashoua after 75 minutes, it appeared it would be a case of the same old story repeating itself once again.

    However, Malaga showed good fighting spirit, backed by the home crowd in holiday spirit, and got themselves back into the game after a lengthy VAR check confirmed that Fran Sol wasn’t interfering with play from an illegal position and that Rúben Castro’s shot from the edge of the box would stand.

    Coach Nacho Pérez, stepping in for Pepe Mel in the post-match press conference, was visibly frustrated: “Having more possession and playing better hasn’t helped us today. We would have loved to push on after our win against Alavés but we could only get the draw. We’re not happy but we can’t let our heads drop.”

    Despite the draw, Malaga remain second from bottom, now four points from safety following Ponferradina’s 2-1 win over Villarreal B.