Archive for October, 2018
Bore Draw Crowd Roar For Prexit

Visitors Lugo were in the pink after grinding out a 0-0 draw but CD Tenerife produced another shocking performance with chances squandered by their wayward strikers. The 10,074 crowds frustrations were rising faster than the shots that flew over the Lugo bar, and there were widespread chants for President Concepcion, and Director of Football, Serrano, to go after assembling a squad that has sleep walked into a relegation battle.

Coach Oltra is frantically trying to juggle his pack of players for a winning hand. Nano was back to lead the attack, his expensive strike partner Naranjo was consigned to the bench, and young Tanzanian striker Chilunda didn’t even make the squad after his 10 minute debut as sub the previous week. Paco Montañes got the nod for the starting eleven and was bright and breezy, straying inside from the left. Making space, Montañes laid the ball off to Luis Milla whose long shot was too high. Nano stumbled and could only manage a week strike after good work from Luis Perez.

When your down things don´t go for you, Tenerife should have been awarded a penalty after 14 minutes. Iriome rose through the youth ranks at Tenerife but was back with Lugo and cut down Camille when the home defender had made a good run into the penalty area. It looked a certain spot kick to everyone except the ref. Home heads started to drop and Lugo´s Dongou cut loose up front with a powerful header that Dani Hernandez took well. Tenerife suffered another cruel blow when the busy Montañes fell awkwardly after going for a header, and had to go off with an injury to a right leg muscle. Exactly a year ago Montañes had suffered an injury that kept him out for most of last season, this latest setback will side line him for up to four weeks.

On came Malbasic to fill the void, he flickers now and then but for a big built player, he doesn´t impose himself on the game and is frequently let down by his ball control and half hearted shots. The big Serbian couldn´t fault Suso for his hard won crosses from the right but his slow responses gave Juan Carlos an easy ride in goal. Sergio Gil came more into the game for Lugo, and combining with Dongou they forced Dani to tidy up at the post just prior to the break, and had Carlos Ruiz coming to the rescue for Tenerife just after the restart. Suso must have been getting pretty frustrated, everyone called for the ball when he flew down the wing, he found Malbasic who kicked it straight at a defender, it rebounded out and Camille popped it over the bar. At the other end it took a combination of Camille and Dani to keep Iriome at bay.

Tenerife were too slow and predictable, bringing on Joao Rodiguez for Carlos Ruiz on the hour helped, at least his pace on the left troubled the Lugo back four. The Colombian’s skills gave Malbasic two more golden opportunities which he couldn’t convert. It’s hard to believe that Tenerife have ever had such a collection of duds in front of goal, thankfully Lugo were not much sharper, Dongou and Gil showed they didn’t have their radar working. Acosta, just a couple of days back from Honduras duty, was the last home change as the negative Undabarrena went off. Naranjo is so poor he can’t even get on from the bench now.

Joao put a good ball in from a corner, it came to Nano who turned well in a tight spot and wasn’t far off the target. Luis Milla sent another free kick up and over goalie and post but even with the noon kick off, Tenerife wouldn’t have scored by midnight. The cries of “Concepcion Dimision” continued raining down from all around the stadium as the game fizzled out. The bad luck continued into the week with Nano straining an ankle at Wednesdays training session, making him doubtful for Sundays away game at Real Zaragoza. It’s hard to see how Tenerife can turn the season around, maybe B team hotshot Giovanni will get the call this weekend, otherwise the tea lady will be digging out her boots.

 

 

 

No Case For The Defence

Strangled by the five man defensive system of coach Joe Luis Oltra, CD Tenerife were humbled 4-1 at Mallorca. The score flattered Mallorca a little as Tenerife matched their hosts for some of the second half but football is about scoring and defending, there were glaring errors in both departments for the visitors.

Any coach would struggle to squeeze some quality out of this poor Tenerife squad. Colombian winger Joao was still out injured, why do recoveries take so long for the blanquiazul? And striker Nano was ruled out of the trip after a family bereavement. From the kick off Gamez teased Hector, and after just four minutes Mallorca took a lead, exposing the Tenerife defence with a square ball that found Aridai unmarked to score. The only real Tenerife chance of the first half came from Naranjo who rose well to head on target before the goalie made a fine turn aside.

Abdon Prats was a waste of space during his spell with Tenerife but he was fired up to put one over his former team, Aridai set him up for a pop at goal, Jorge and Alberto managed to stop and clear it between them. The half hour was approaching when Gamez got the ball through to Lago Junior who doubled the lead with a header into the top corner of the Tenerife net. No strong holding midfielder and acres of space in midfield encouraged Mallorca to keep launching raids, just before the break, Aveldaño headed clear after Prats burst through. Oltra must have told a few home truths in the break, Tenerife came back out with a spring in their step. Hector made a good run and tested the goalie, Acosta managed a side shot at goal, and Suso forced a rescue dive from the keeper. Malbasic awoke and went close twice before the pressure paid off.

Luis Milla launched a corner into the box, home defender Salva Ruiz tried to clear but could only head into his own net. Technically that makes him Tenerife´s joint top goal scorer. It was a short lived moment of relief, Rodriguez roasted Hector and fed the ball via Aridai to Prats who gratefully popped it past Dani Hernandez. Montañes replaced Aveldaño and was soon in action playing a nice interchange with Malbasic before stumbling and only making a half contact with a shot. Tenerife had a bit more balance now, Milla linked with Acosta to set up Naranjo for a long range effort that the goalie stopped low at the post. With 16 minutes left and a faint hope of a comeback, forward Chilunda made his debut in place of Naranjo. The Tanzanian international couldn´t react quickly enough to exploit a Suso pass but hopefully a few games will sharpen him up.

The crushing blow came a few minutes later, Alberto made a half hearted tackle on Lopez who was able to score in the top corner past a static Dani. Luis Perez for Raul Camara was a pointless late change for Tenerife. It could have looked even bleaker as Mallorca´s Lopez skied an easy chance in injury time. The defeat dropped Tenerife back into 19th place, a relegation slot, and leaves a mountain of questions to be answered by club President Concepcion and player recruiting Sports Director, Serrano.

Prince Crowns CD Marino Milestone Win

In 700 Tercera Division games CD Marino will have seen fewer stranger than their 2-1 home win over Union Sur Yaiza. Before kick off the club honoured squad members from the 1980-81 season that started that long residency, they must have been as bemused as the other fans by  a flag happy young linesman, and a whistle happy ref who sent off three visiting players.

Antonio Samuel unleashed a crisp early shot for Marino that warmed the Lanzarote goalie’s hands. Right back Connor continually got in behind the Yaiza defence, and on the other side of the pitch Javi Saavedra overlapped and saw his shot ricochet off the post. David was nearly caught cold when Victor produced the first attempt for the green shirted visitors, but it was back to one way traffic as Fayez fed Juanmi for another home effort. Ruyman was bracing himself for a busy afternoon in the Yaiza goal, Connor breached the rear guard again, this time setting up Gaizka, his neat flick was snuffed out by the goalie.

Ammed and Guti both went close, it was inevitable that a home goal would come, after 25 minutes Samuel made another telling run down the left, cut inside, and finished clinically to make it 1-0. Yaiza were stung and tried to respond, Kamara got into a strong position but headed over the Marino bar. Ammed and Samuel both had further chances before the half closed with a Rami header that David took one handed in the home goal. After Tito had his own effort easily dealt with by David to open the second half, Gaizka made way for Javi Gonzalez for the blues. The sub wasted little time in winning a free kick from a menacing run, Ammed fired it over the bar.

Prince Dadia came on for Fayez as Marino looked for the second goal to underline their superiority. It was Yaiza though who found the back of the net with a soft goal from Rami that evaded David. That gave Yaiza some encouragement, they stepped up the intensity of their play and the tackles became fiercer. That still didn´t prepare the fans for a mad five minutes, first a clash of players saw some pushing and shoving, the ref, prompted by his assistant, showed a direct red to Raul and a second yellow to Miguel. Once order was restored, Sesma was Marino´s last sub, in place of Connor, a positive, attacking move.

Javi Gonzalez beat the Yaiza defence and was in the penalty area when Victor hooked him over. The ref pointed to the spot and another direct red for the foul meant Victor joined his mates for an early shower. Sesma stepped up and side footed the penalty straight, the keeper, Ruyman, stood his ground and made a spectacular save. Marino had 10 minutes left to seal the victory and threw their overwhelming numbers at the depleted opposition. Juanmi blasted too high, Prince was on target but brought the best out of Ruyman.

It wasn´t fair to expect more drama but it came anyway in the second minute of injury time. Prince looked hungry and showed great pace to exploit an opening in the Yaiza defence, from outside the box he let loose a perfectly timed shot to leave the goalie stranded. Prince was mobbed by his team mates, there were a few more seconds to be added on though. As play restarted, the Marino bench urged the final whistle to go, and after agonising seconds it did.. It was quite a game to witness, Marino will just be thankful for the three points that boost them up to 11th place.

Coaches That Pass In The Night

 

No prizes for guessing who felt the most uncomfortable at the end of this reunion of former CD Tenerife coaches. Jose Luis Oltra was basking in the satisfaction of a 1-0 victory, back on the home bench ten years after his first spell as boss, Alvaro Cervera was nursing his wounds on the wrong end of that scoreline to continue the recent decline of his visiting Cadiz side.

It was no time for gloating though, Tenerife did just enough to get their first win of the season, and Nano got his first goal since returning in the summer. It wasn´t a thriller to watch, Oltra stuck to his five man defence with a few tweaks. Alberto became the stay at home centre back with Carlos Ruiz roaming in front, that worked better but at times players seemed unsure of their roles. Alberto put his previous weeks poor display behind him, a strong block on striker Mario Barko marked his card. Nano is gradually finding his fitness and some form, a quick break showed his alertness but fizzled out with no support on hand.

A patient build up just before the half hour took Tenerife close, Suso was back in the starting line up and running at the visitors defence, this time they ganged up to close him down. You can´t keep Suso chained for long, a couple of minutes later he was off down the right again, passed to Naranjo who helped the ball on to Nano who finished with a neat side foot for a 1-0 lead. Cadiz needed something from the game to stop their poor run, Matos thought he was through, Carlos Ruiz had other ideas and cleared with his head. Dani Hernandez was on top form, he easily repelled two decent shots on him. Jorge is learning to enjoy his little excursions to the sharp end, he produced another goal bound header only to see the keeper make a good save just before the break.

A home lead with a 10,075 crowd behind them should have made the Tenerife confidence flow, instead some of the old uncertainties reared their head in the second half. Naranjo was very poor again, Camille should have had a shot when holding the ball, instead he passed to Naranjo whose control let him down. Suso and Nano both forced corners that brought no reward. At the other end, defensive slowness gave Edu Ramos a chance, his poor strike was worthy of Naranjo. Nano was trying hard, he skipped past a defender and won another corner, again it was wasted, set pieces need a lot of work in the next training sessions. Tenerife were living dangerously, they should have pushed more for the second goal, Montañes came on for Naranjo but didn´t make much of an impression.

Undaberrana was a defensive replacement for Nano with 13 minutes to go, a signal to Cadiz that Tenerife were just looking to cling on. At least Nano got plenty of cheers as he left the pitch, the local boy will appreciate the fans are letting him back into their hearts. Suso tried his luck with a back header before making way for Malbasic. In injury time Luis Milla made light work of defender Alex Fernandez but Bryan Acosta couldn´t finish off the move. The win was a great relief and moved Tenerife up to 15th, but now the hard work really starts.

Going With The Flow In Vilaflor

Bikers filled the roadside cafe, chestnuts prepared to burst forth from their spikey jackets, and pine trees marched up into the hills above Vilaflor. It was the perfect start point for a Sunday afternoon circular walk from the top end of Spain´s highest village. Tenerife´s Titsa bus service only runs a direct service from Los Cristianos on weekends so I was keen to take advantage of a rare Sunday without football to cover.

My friend Cecilia, a keen runner, joined me as we took the steep road up to Las Castañas, the village below looked serene and quiet. The tarmac road past the Hotel Villalba and the football ground soon changed to a rough, upwardly mobile track, and the first choice soon arrived. Faced with a lack of clear signs and a hazy memory of my last journey this way, we went upward and I soon recognised a large white modern water pumping station. Being so close to Teide national park, the Vilaflor area has more plentiful water than lower regions so it has always been pumped to the less fortunate areas.

Fire has been a constant menace during the height of summer, there were many signs of a couple of wild fires earlier in the year. Nature is a quick healer, new growths were emerging from blackened bark and even some of the damaged trees had a strange beauty to them. A downward path of orange tinged earth showed how well some of the route has been managed, it led onto a stunning viewpoint overlooking a valley of pine trees. Some nifty footwork was needed for a steep twisting drop leading down to a reservoir, complete with a strange miss match of pipes and valves, and gurgling that sounded like a giant washing machine.

This was where it all got a little interesting. The path up and out at the bottom of Vilaflor was clearly marked but a nearby sign pointed the other way to Ifonche, and as we had plenty of time, it seemed like a good add on. It was a fairly wide natural road, well worn by motor vehicles, it undulated up, down, and out in a long loop seemingly in the general direction we needed. A series of ancient water channels, pumping stations, and an old weir, were bone dry, it was difficult to imagine what it would look like when a storm raged. High banks along the way showed massive bolders that had half rolled down and were precariously perched on inclines.

After a couple of hours the path tightened and started to wind upwards as thin wisps of cloud drifted across. It was time to turn tail and retrace our steps to the reservoir where a clear and known exit awaited. Our water and food supplies stood us in good stead and heading into familiar territory hastened our pace. Once back at our ill fated wrong turn, a little browsing showed a smaller path tucked behind a tree, that was the true Ifonche route even though the sign pointed to the other path.

There was still some steep terrain ahead and the lure of a fresh, cold drink. Arriving on the main road just below the Hermano Pedro junction, our 6 hour jaunt had become a near 20 km epic, and the 6 pm last bus to Los Cristianos had gone. Some forward planning had identified Arona as the nearest bus point for the south, a “cheap lift” that far, linked us to the Titsa and on to home soil. It wasn’t quite as planned but still very enjoyable and a vindication of allowing plenty of time, food, drink, and a positive attitude. Ifonche part two is pencilled in so I can square the circle soon.

Ship Hopping In Santa Cruz

Like a salty sea dog, my tail was wagging wildly, not only was I getting the Plenilunio promotions day, and the CD Tenerife v Cadiz game, the tell tale sign of tall masts told me there were also some interesting ships in Santa Cruz for me to check out.

Down at the old dockside, two majestic ships were moored toe to tail with the Holland flag fluttering proudly on each. The first, Morgenster was a particularly lucky find for me as I had not been able to fit in a press invite to see the ship a few days previously. There was just a few crew attending to maintenance needs and I was offered a brief tour, clambering up the gang plank, I was struck by the neat, sparkling condition of the deck, well it had been in port for two weeks of scrubbing. This was a ship with a mission called Clean To Antarctica which involved the active promotion of recycling plastic. From its Den Helder base, the ship was travelling on to Senegal, Cape Verde, and the Caribbean before the epic trip to the South Pole. In that frozen wasteland they would be trying out a special vehicle, Solar Voyager, made from recycled plastic. The regular 8 strong crew were being joined by 25 volunteers being sponsored by a Chinese company. It’s a very modern project for a ship built in 1919 as a fishing vessel and later rebuilt from just the original hull into the clipper design it now has, including a 30 metre high main mast.

The Europa, just behind it had a slightly different mission, sail training for a mainly young volunteer crew from Canada, Sweden, and the USA. There was not much between the ships age wise, Europa was built in 1911 but after dropping out of service had to wait until 1994 for a refit from the hull upwards. The main mast was a tad higher at 35 metres and the cheeky design on the bow of the ship was sure to create interest at each port they called at. The 56 metre long ship, based in Den Haag, was more about team building and character building for the paying crew who would be pitching in on all the on board tasks, including scaling the masts to set the sails.

Contrast is always a big feature of Santa Cruz port, over in the modern harbour, the cruise liner Celebrity Silhouette dominated the skyline. The 315 metre long palace, launched in 2011, has 2,886 passengers, you wouldn’t catch them climbing more than a couple of stairs, certainly not inching out along the yardarm. The latest cruise had brought them from Southampton, via Portugal, and the Azores. Up on street level overlooking the port, the port authority had a display of info on old ships and nautical equipment, including some heavy diving gear that looked like it had come out of a Jules Verne novel. I wonder what awaits my next call.

A Right Song And Dance For Santa Cruz Plenilunio

Every street and plaza is a stage in Santa Cruz. The Tenerife capital needs little excuse to party, well it´s all good training for the annual Canaval, and it´s always nice to give the traders of the city a boost. With 100 acts spread over 20 points, my Ten Mas bus ticket and the 110 Titsa bus whizzed me from Los Cristianos to Santa Cruz for an early Saturday morning start.

First stop was the Castillo San Juan on the sea front, near the spot where Nelson lost his arm when trying to lead a British invasion in 1797. History was very much on the menu for a series of theatrical story telling sessions in the castle courtyard as a narrator weaved tales of nautical action in days past. The hook nose of the modern Auditorio peaked in over the walls and the soaring solo singing of one of the players fitted in well with the opera season taking place inside the iconic modern hall.

Moving along the port road and into the heart of the city, it was clear that many people had poured into Santa Cruz for the day, I didn´t see the Star Wars storm troopers marching through the streets but did bump into Princess Leia and friends. Parque Garcia Sanabria is always a favourite call for me at any time but it was bustling with food trucks filling one avenue, and a couple of stages for a range of musical styles. An old fashioned photographer, Michi Rodriguez, using the traditional plates and cloak method was producing some splendid black and white images. The snappers whiskers and bow tie added to the time warp feel, and there was even a birdie to watch, dangling from the lens.

Plaza del Principe was gearing up for a night of DJs on the main stage, but down at street level the excellent Bloko drum band were pounding out an infectious musical blast. I had previously seen the mix of drummers from the Canaries, Cape Verde, and Kenya, at the annual youth football tournament in Playa de Las Americas, it was great to hear them again. Plaza Candelaria had a corridor of pink marquees packed with craft products, and the stage was being entertained by some bizarre puppet creatures. A little further round by the lake, a magician had the children spellbound with some classic tricks, yes they even made a rabbit appear from a hat.

There was only one way to round off such a pleasant day, the evening kick off between CD Tenerife and Cadiz, it was almost as if I had planned it! The magician must have spread his magic dust towards the Heliodoro Stadium, Tenerife got their first win of the season. Sport wasn´t left out at the Plenilunio, a series of small basketball courts on the port approach encouraged young fans to test their skills. A childrens run was taking place, with an adults version to follow later, and the stages would be featuring pop and rock bands.