Roberto celebrates scoring the winning goal in front of the fans. Ñito Salas
Roberto makes timely injury return to seal dramatic win for Malaga CF

Roberto makes timely injury return to seal dramatic win for Malaga CF

The victory was dedicated to striker Dioni who had to leave the ground in an ambulance after 57 minutes

Daryl Finch


Sunday, 17 March 2024, 18:41


It wasn't straightforward, but Malaga CF returned to winning ways in the noon kick-off with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Intercity at La Rosaleda on Sunday.

The game threatened to be defined by an unpleasant incident which saw Dioni Villalba taken to hospital in an ambulance early in the second half after a clash of heads in the opposition area. The striker fell to the ground unconscious, sparking alarm among players and spectators alike.

Fortunately, the player had regained consciousness by the time he was removed from the field of play but, of course, he was unable to continue.

Paramedics helping Dioni from the field of play.
Paramedics helping Dioni from the field of play. ÑITO SALAS

His place was taken by Roberto, making his own return from injury. And it was the 21-year-old who ensured that there was a happy end to this story.

Sergio Pellicer's side spurned a whole host of chances in the first half. Dioni himself had several opportunities, while David Larrubia and Dani Lorenzo could have put their side ahead, too. Genaro had two more chances, but without the desired end result.

In the end, they needed their top goal scorer to show them how it's done. With 15 minutes left to play, the forward added the finishing touch from metres out after the ball fell to him following some excellent individual play from Dani Lorenzo.

However, despite being under the cosh for much of the game, Intercity came back strong, making the most of the 12 minutes of stoppage time.

They pushed hard for the equaliser and thought they'd earned it through Emilio Nsue, but the officials (in the absence of VAR) ruled that his header hadn't crossed the line when replays seem to suggest that keeper Alfonso Herrero had carried it across the line.

In the end, Malaga held on for the win and were able to close the gap to leaders Castellón to five points (following their 3-2 defeat to second-placed Cordoba).

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