Malaga beats Celta 1-0 in Spanish league opener

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The Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -With most of its stars sold, Malaga needed a record-setting goal Saturday from 16-year-old Fabrice Olinga to win 1-0 at promoted Celta Vigo on the opening day of the Spanish league.

The Malaga youth player went on as a second-half substitute and moments after hitting the post he knocked in a rebound of a shot by Diego Bounanotte in the 84th minute.

The goal made Olinga the youngest player to score in the Spanish league at 16 years, 3 months, 6 days. The Cameroon native also became the youngest player to play in the first division for Malaga.

Olinga wrote on Twitter that he was "very happy for the game and the victory of the team, now back to Malaga and above all back to work."

Also, Tomer Hemed scored a double to give Mallorca a 2-1 win over Espanyol, and Sevilla beat Getafe 2-1 through first-half goals by Federico Fazio and Alvaro Negredo.

Celta had played better throughout the match, but lacked precision in front of goal in its first topflight match in six seasons. Forward Enrique de Lucas grazed the post just before halftime and defender Gustavo Cabral hit the crossbar from close range in injury time.

"We were fortunate to win, but to let a draw slip in the last second would have been unfair also," Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini said.

Malaga's Qatari owners have sold various players, including playmaker Santi Cazorla to Arsenal, in the preseason following a financial about-face after having invested heavily in the team the past two seasons. The Costa del Sol club plays Greek side Panathinaikos in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying playoff on Wednesday.

"This team has been through some complicated moments, but they have helped it become stronger mentally," Pellegrini said. "Now we have to think about the playoff against Panathinaikos and the Champions League."

At the Iberostar stadium, Hemed opened the scoring two minutes in when the Israel striker controlled a cross, spun and fired into the lower corner of the net.

New signing Wakaso Mubarak leveled for Espanyol four minutes later, but Hemed struck again in the 85th when he volleyed in the rebound of a curling strike by Michael Pereira that came off the corner of the woodwork.

In Seville, Fazio scored with a header to give Sevilla the lead in the 34th, and Negredo stroked in hosts' second goal from the penalty spot five minutes later after Getafe defender Juan Valera had fouled Juan Antonio Reyes in the area.

Getafe defender Alexis Ruano halved the difference with a header in the 51st, but Sevilla controlled the rest of the game to secure the win.

Sevilla coach Michel Gonzalez said he was satisfied with his team's debut.

"We could have won by a wider margin and their goal was fruit of our mistakes," said Michel, who coached Getafe from 2009-2011.

On Sunday, defending champion Real Madrid opens its title defense at home against Valencia, while Tito Vilanova debuts as Barcelona's head coach against visitor Real Sociedad. Also, Athletic Bilbao hosts Real Betis and Atletico Madrid is at Levante.

On Monday, Deportivo Coruna marks its return to the topflight after a one-season absence against Osasuna, Granada is at Rayo Vallecano and promoted Valladolid travels to Zaragoza.

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Follow Joseph Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/(at)JWilsonBCN

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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