Málaga CF were away to FC Cartagena on Thursday 3rd November on an unusually warm autumn night. The duel corresponded to LaLiga SmartBank matchday 14.
In terms of gameplay, the initial stages of play were mostly even at Cartagonova. The ball moved within the wide area and both teams exchanged opportunities. Rubén Castro had the first, the striker finished off a superb shot from the left at close range. The header was intuitively intercepted by goalkeeper Aarón Escandell (former Malaguista).
Minute 22 was key in changing the course of the match. Central defender Esteban Burgos prevented a rival one-on-one from the edge of the area with a foul. The referee agreed it was a clear goal scoring opportunity and sent him off with a direct red card. From then on, the Blue and Whites were a man down.
Following the expulsion, the locals stepped up their attack, but the Malaguista defence worked hard to stop the opposing attacks. MCF captain, Luis Muñoz, came close to 0-1 in the 38th minute. The midfielder surprised with a powerful, precise shot from the edge of the box, but the ball grazed the post. The scoreboard remained at 0-0 at half-time.
In the second half, the locals stepped on to the pitch with the intention of taking the lead, and they succeeded. In minute 51, Ortuño scored from inside the area. Goalkeeper, Rubén Yáñez touched the ball, but didn’t manage to stop the goal (1-0).
The rival continued their insistence on the attack. Yáñez had to prove his extraordinary reflexes with a save from a changed hand, in response to a spectacular shot from De Blasis (57’).
Just two minutes later, the Malaguistas went level. Homegrown player Cristian, who had barely been on the pitch for a quarter of an hour, made it 1-1 in the 60th minute. The winger recovered a ball in the heart of the area and slammed it into the net, the second goal for the MCF Academy player.
Play balanced out in the next stage of the game. Just when it looked as though the points would be shared between both teams, Jansson put the home side in front once again, 2-1. The referee highlighted the illegal position of the shooter, but the VAR corrected the decision and validated the goal in 77'.
The goal spurred on Cartagena, who went all out to increase their lead, but the Blue and Whites managed to contain their attacking onslaught. In the final stages of play, Cartagena dedicated themselves to controlling the game through possession and a fatigued Blue and White team couldn’t find the equaliser. The final result was 2-1 and Málaga leave the Municipal Cartagonova empty handed.
The next league match is taking place on Sunday 6th November at 18:30 against Real Sporting de Gijón at La Rosaleda.