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PHOTO: PEPE ORTEGA

Barça’s Juvenil A (U18) players leave Andalusia with their head held high despite losing by 3-0 in the away leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey. Not all is lost, however, seeing that Pep Muñoz’ side still have 90 minutes to play in the return leg at the Miniestadi next Sunday (12:00). The Azulgranas, just like they did in the first half of today’s match, must impose their style of play and not give Málaga space to move on offence.

Domination without reward

The first minutes of the match were dominated by Barça’s one-touch play. This allowed the Azulgranas to come close to Málaga’s goal on various occasions. The best goal-scoring chance fell to Dongou on 20 minutes, but the ball was deflected to a corner. Málaga’s solid defence and the good performance from their keeper denied the visitors the opening goal of the semifinal. Pedro, Málaga’s leader on defence, was the linchpin in the home side’s strategy of mounting quick counterattacks. This was precisely how Málaga scored; a quick counter attack culminated by Rafa Vicente at the end of the first half.

Two goals complicate the tie for Barça

Barça started the second half with the hopes of scoring the equaliser. However, the Málaga side were set on controlling the game and they wrestled away ball possession from the Catalans. The home side scored their second goal of the game through Jandro after a good collective play. The Málaga captain, Álvaro, scored the definitive 3-0. In the last minute of the game Dongou was ejected from the match after committing his second bookable offence and, therefore, will miss the return match of the semifinal at the Miniestadi this Sunday.

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