Sunday, 8 October 2023, 23:38
The winning streak is over. After five wins on the bounce, Malaga CF had to make do with a point from their trip to Huelva as they took on Recreativo on Sunday evening. Striker Dioni Villalba came off the bench to equalise in the 74th minute, cancelling former Malaga man Caye Quintana's opener.
Perhaps going against the conventional wisdom of not changing a winning team, coach Sergio Pellicer - back on the bench, but not especially energetic after undergoing minor surgery - made a number of changes for the match at the Nuevo Colombino.
Two of the side's standout performers, Genaro and Dioni, were left out, while Dani Sánchez replaced the injured Victor García. Unsurprisingly, these changes disrupted the team's rhythm.
With Manu Molina coming into the side, the visitors struggled to gain control in midfield. Forward Roberto was isolated more than usual due to Dioni's absence and, as a result, had few clear opportunities. Kevin had a chance early on but missed the target.
In fact, the best chance in the first 45 minutes came from Recreativo, with a shot from Josiel Núñez hitting the crossbar.
The second half began disastrously for Malaga as they lost the ball in attack, leading to a Recreativo counterattack and a goal by Caye Quintana. Going behind was a significant blow for Pellicer's men, and he quickly made substitutions, bringing in Juanpe and Dioni to restore balance.
Malaga stepped up in attack, with Sangalli also hitting the crossbar, and soon came the equaliser, as Roberto teed up Dioni to set up a thrilling and intense finale.
Both teams had chances to win in the closing minutes, but ultimately it ended in a draw.
The result may have marked the end of Malaga's winning streak, but they remain undefeated since the first match of the season and are still just one place and three points behind leaders Castellón.
Next up is the visit of strugglers Melilla to La Rosaleda on Thursday (kick-off 12pm).
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