Saturday 24 February 2018

Minnows Malaga keep their Euro dreams alive

DEBUTANTS Malaga kept their Champions League dream alive when Isco and substitute Roque Santa Cruz struck in a 2-0 win at home to 10-man Porto that sent the La Liga side through to the last eight 2-1 on aggregate.

Playmaker Isco put Malaga ahead with a brilliant curling effort two minutes before half-time and Porto's hopes were dealt a further blow four minutes after the break when midfielder Steven Defour was shown a second yellow card and sent off.

Malaga probed patiently for a second and Santa Cruz headed into the net from Isco's corner in the 77th minute, moments after coming off the bench.

With the tie still delicately balanced, Porto threw men forward, but Malaga held firm to ensure their name will be included in tomorrow's draw for the quarter-finals.

"We are back in the best possible way," said Isco.

"This would have been unthinkable only a short time ago it's incredible. Nobody here has ever experienced anything like this and they all deserve it. I think we fully deserved the win. We enjoyed the match and we played our football."

Irish Independent

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