Getafe (Spain), Sep 19 (IANS) A goal by Serbian forward Stefan Scepovic shortly after the opening whistle was all Getafe needed for a 1-0 victory over Malaga, which has now failed to score through its first four matches of the La Liga season.
Both teams came into the contest at Alfonso Perez Coliseum here on Friday night with a sense of urgency, with Malaga looking to overcome an embarrassing goal-scoring drought and Getafe, which has a difficult away match Tuesday against crosstown rival Atletico Madrid, aiming to get on track after three consecutive losses, reports Efe.
Scepovic and Spanish midfielders Victor Rodriguez and Alvaro Medran, part of a new generation of players at Getafe along with Brazilian midfielder Wanderson, gave the home club a shot in the arm at the start of the contest, combining on a play that the Serbian finished with a header past Cameroonian goalkeeper Carlos Kameni in the second minute.
Stunned by that early strike and hurt by the poor play of Moroccan winger Nordin Amrabat, who picked up a yellow card, fell victim to four offside traps and was ineffective in attack, Malaga was unable to hit back over the remainder of the mostly uneventful first half.
Portuguese midfielder Ricardo Horta accounted for both of the visitors’ scoring chances in the first half, a miscued header and a shot that went just wide of the goal, while Scepovic squandered a clear opportunity to double Getafe’s lead after receiving a cross from Roberto Lago.
In the second half, Malaga remained short on ideas and lacklustre despite the deficit on the scoreboard, not producing a clear opportunity until a free kick with time running down that net minder Vicente Guaita managed to deflect.
The Azulones, meanwhile, mainly relied on preserving their lead through ball possession, although Rodriguez and Wanderson both had excellent opportunities that were snuffed out by Kameni.