Malaga CF | Malaga lose 1-3 to Hull City in their first pre-season friendly

Malaga players Rubén Castro and Álex Gallar arrive together on the pitch at the Marbella Football Center./RAFAEL ESPAÑA

Malaga players Rubén Castro and Álex Gallar arrive together on the pitch at the Marbella Football Center. / RAFAEL SPAIN

The blue and white team, under construction, stood up to a tougher rival who offered high demand

Borja Gutierrez

Málaga he played his first friendly of the pre-season against Hull City of the English Second Division. A good level test for the team of Pablo Guede, who made the first preparation tests. The blue and white team, still under construction and far from their greatest potential, lost 1-3 to a rival who showed greater skill and offered greater physical demands. He was tough and aggressive, which was normal of him. Although the result was decided with up to three corner goals which came in the second half.

The English took the lead with a header from Greaves in the 51st minute then the Blue and Whites equalized through Andrés Caro, also from a corner three minutes later. Before the end of the first hour of the match, Hull City were again ahead of strategy thanks to Jones. And the 1-3 came four minutes later with a superb shot from right-back Coyle that stunned Manolo Reina. But beyond the result, Malaga savored a first contact against a demanding rival after two weeks of training.

The starting line-up consisted of Manolo Reina; Haitam, Juanfran, Andrés Caro, Genaro, Victor Olmo; Ramon, Jozabed, Alex Rico; Fran Sol and Rubén Castro. A first eleven where only the attacker could be that of the 1st day of the championship on August 14. Málaga launched their new attack with Fran Sol and Rubén Castro as main bets and both gave insight into their roles in this team. Fran Sol will be the attacker with mobility and the one in charge of supporting the midfield. Rubén Castro is well known for his role as a striker and had as many as three chances to score in the hour of the game he played.

The clearest was after half an hour of play, when he tried with narrowly deflected petroleum jelly. Instead, the defense was circumstantial with a line of five consisting of Haitam as a right-handed winger (with one leg switched); Juanfran, Genaro and Andrés Caro from power plants; and Víctor Olmo at left-back. The troops called to hold this position were missing: Esteban Burgos, Juande and Bustinza. In the center of the field, the figure of Ramón has established itself as a pivot and a centerpiece in the delivery of the ball. He was fine and barely managed to control the ball and distribute play.

Jozabed has also proven himself well as a playmaker and as the main launcher of strategic plays. In the first half he put in a cross to Rubén Castro which the striker finished very close to the top corner when he was forced. Generally speaking, until the arrival of the first goal conceded due to poor defending from a corner, Malaga’s performance was quite commendable as it was the first of the preparation tests and against an opponent from level (they will fight for promotion to Prime Minister after a major investment).

At the time of the game, Guede changed teams and left a full XI of local players: Manolo Reina; Haitam, Arriaza, Murillo, Andrés Caro, Victor Olmo; Ramón, Dani Lorenzo and Alex Rico; Kevin and Loren. A few minutes later, Issa Fomba replaced Víctor Olmo. The young Malagasies left a good taste in the mouth with remarkable offensive actions. That of Haitam, which was canceled from the hands during a previous control, but which served to register a magnificent definition with his left foot. Kevin has also tried it several times inside (played as a second striker alongside Loren). And Issa Fomba surprised with his electric dribbling and high speed to put the shot together in a game that was close to being 2-3. With minutes missing, Larrubia also came out to play, and Carlos López and Chavarría ran out of minutes.

In the field attached to the game, the rest of the players not summoned practiced and among those who drew particular attention the last four new faces: Esteban Burgos, Rubén Yáñez, Ramalho and Álex Gallar. They are already working as brand new malaguistas and have made their first expedition with the club. Álex Gallar has been seen arriving with Rubén Castro, with whom he has enjoyed a fruitful footballing relationship over the past two years in Cartagena. About 650 people attended the facilities of the Marbella Football Center. Most of them are Blue and White fans, but also some from Hull City who were surprised near their residence or holiday destination in an extraordinary way. Malaga’s next pre-season game will also take place at the Marbella Football Center facilities on July 23 against Cádiz at 7:00 p.m.

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