Elche CF will ply their trade in the Liga BBVA for another season after beating Málaga CF 0-2 in Sunday’s final matchday 35 clash, a result that means they have won four of their last five in the Liga BBVA.
A close-fought opening period was served up at La Rosaleda, but Elche always looked the more settled of the two sides and, with the half-hour mark approaching, los ilicitanos took the lead. A terrific counter-attack by Fran Escribá’s men culminated in Víctor Rodríguez’s cross setting up Jonathas, who beat Carlos Kameni from close range. Málaga could have levelled before the break, but Juanmi could not connect properly and saw the ball bounce wide.
The second half got underway with Málaga all out to find an equaliser and Javi Gracia’s team probed persistently around Przemysław Tytoń’s goal, while at the other end Mario Pašalić might have settled the match for Elche on 62 minutes. The game could have changed course after 71’ when Tytoń brought down Javi Guerra in the area and was sent off, but Duda saw his penalty hit substitute keeper Manu Herrera’s left-hand post. Although down to ten men, Elche continued to give as good as they got and, on 89’, Pašalić stepped up to seal a fantastic win for the visitors, with Guerra reducing the deficit for the hosts in time added on.