Shaq Moore and Tenerife saw their recent momentum come to a screeching halt, as they fell at Malaga on Monday evening, in a game decided by a single, controversial penalty call.
The Blanquiazules came into Monday’s contest on a four-game unbeaten run, three of those being wins, and were looking to build upon their third-place standing in order to close the gap on the top-two spots in La Liga 2 destined for automatic promotion.
Moore lined up on the right side of a four-man defense, and played until the hour mark, when he was substituted out in favor of usual starter Jeremy Mellot, who according to the coach has been slowed by a lingering injury.
Malaga were celebrating what they thought was the opening goal by Javi Jimenez early on, however it was correctly called back for a blatant offside in the buildup.
Moore set up Elady for an early headed attempt in the ninth minute, however the the 31 year-old’s attempt was too high.
The critical moment in the game came in the 12th minute, as Malaga attacker Brandon weaved into the right upper side of the penalty area, and was slightly tripped up by midfielder Aitor Sanz.
The contact occurred exactly at the boundary of the area, and referee Rafael Sanchez Lopez
opted in favor of the attacker, awarding a penalty that Brandon put away with a powerful shot straight down the middle.
While Tenerife were noticeably more crisp in their passing and attack after the break, they were unable to create any real danger, with their best chances coming in rapid succession roughly 15 minutes before regulation.
First, José León barely missed the target after getting his head on a corner by Álex Corredera, then Brandon’s shot from dead-center was blocked.
In the end, Malaga had little trouble to hold on, sending the Blanquiazules home empty-handed.
The result drops Tenerife one spot into fourth place, still only four points out of the automatic promotion spots. They will next take the field on Sunday afternoon when they host dead-last Alcorcon.