Perky and thrusting, there were no thoughts of premature capitulation for CD Tenerife as they turned on the style for a 3-1 home win over Real Valladolid. The pressure was off with a promotion play off place disappearing over the horizon but our players are proud and stubborn and two goals from Nano and one from Choco Lozano left the tiniest of chances alive from three remaining games.
This was not a day for sitting back, Tenerife flew at Valladolid, Suso put a shot over the visitors bar after just two minutes. Nano was ready to chase everything up front and the midfield was strong and supportive with Mountinho and Javi Lara on top form. Roger was the main threat up front for Valladolid, he wasted two half chances, one straight at Dani Hernandez, and one comfortably wide. The opening goal on the half hour was a peach, Nano ran onto a deep ball from Aitor Sanz, his finish was perfectly measured and timed.
Javi Moyano got a mixed reception on his return to Santa Cruz, Suso was under his skin all game, the CDT captain used his knowledge of his former team mate to press all the right buttons. Home goals normally arrive in the second half but it was all change as Nano took a pass from Suso and beat two defenders before plundering his 14th strike of the season. There was a let off just before the break, Mojica smacked the post with his free kick and thankfully the rebound was scrambled away.
Aitor Sanz had a muscle pull and departed for Ricardo at the restart, it weakened the midfield but Tenerife were still attack minded. Suso went on one of his determined runs but this time it fizzled out before he could make it tell. Dani kept alert with a two fisted clearance as Valladolid sensed a lull in the home momentum. Launching another attack they caught the Tenerife defence napping and Oscar was able to elude four defenders to score. It brought an attacking substitution, Choco left the bench as Javi Lara went off, the Honduras striker showed no ill effects of a knock picked up the previous week.
Nano looked to have completed his hat trick as he leapt to head the ball down into the bottom corner of the Valladolid net, it was a close off side call that denied him. Soon after he put another shot onto the roof of the net before retiring, with a muscle tweak as Omar replaced him. Cristian Garcia went close with a header at the visiting keeper, the slender lead didn’t reflect the dominance of Tenerife but there was still four minutes injury time to come. Choco showed his speed of thought and feet as he rounded the advancing goalie and split two defenders with a perfect shot to make it a 3-1 victory.
Harsh reality may finally snuff out the promotion dream but this game showed the progress made during the second half of the season and the hope it promises for the next campaign. It’s a shame the crowd dropped to 7,714 but us lucky ones there can now make our leap of faith stretch to at least another 90 minutes.