TWO-TIME champions Éire Óg Sevilla got their Andalusian League off with a win against newcomers Celta Málaga in San Jerónimo.
Playing in sweltering conditions due to a late kick off, the hosts were keen to lay down a marker after a somewhat disappointing campaign the last time out and were quick in doing so, building a lead early on.
Málaga, competing in their first Andalusian League after being granted entry last year, soon began to find their feet thanks to some quick midfield work and slowly began to reduce the deficit.
Growing with new found confidence, Sevilla set upon stemming the tide and following a sloppy period of poor passing at last managed to break Málaga’s spirited defence through newcomer Simon Doherty, whose thumping finish gave Celta’s number one no chance. The goal steadied Éire Óg’s ship, and gave them a lead to build on going in to the break.
Needing to score quickly following the restart, Málaga were quick out of the blocks hoping to cause an opening day upset. Fielding well off the kickout, Celta began yet another spirited fight back that yielded two goals and a shift in momentum swinging their way.
With the hosts struggling for momentum once more and guilty of gifting possession away too easily, changes were needed and following a tactical shift featuring building attacks from shorter kickouts, Sevilla at last managed to get their hold back on the game once more. With their experience showing in the final quarter, Éire Óg managed to eventually see out the game thanks to two quick goals as Málaga pressed forward. The visitors managed to grab one goal back at the death, but it proved to be merely a consolation.
Both sides head into match day two of the Andalusian League looking to build on the positives from their opening day exploits, with Málaga hosting defending champions Costa Gaels and Sevilla making the trip south to Gibraltar.