Archive for the 'Football' Category
Reset But No Fast Forward For CD Tenerife

No goals, one point, and two unconvincing, performances marked the resumption of the 2019-2020 season. Nervous and non threatening at Fuenlabrada brought a 1-0 defeat after a defensively suicidal soft goal. Much improved creatively with a combination of bad luck and bad finishing made for a 0-0 home finish with a Malaga side that look odds on for relegation. The overall feeling was of relief to have football back after the three month coronavirus restrictions. The new order gave no room for passion, no fans, no hand shakes, and no close contact celebrations, small hardships compared to lost lives.

An eerily empty Heliodoro Stadium in Santa Cruz was the stage for line up changes following the away defeat. Alberto was dropped in favour of a belated debut for January signing Lluis Lopez who slotted in well to the heart of the defence. American international Shaq Moore (right) and Daniel Asure (left) added width to the stale midfield. Dani Gomez couldn´t convert from an early hard won Moore cross. Lopez dropped a deep ball out to Joselu who fared little better.

Tenerife should have seized the second half after Bare was sent off for two bookings just before the break but it didn´t work out that way. On the hour Tenerife made a double swap, Nahuel for Luis Perez, and Javi Muñoz for Lasure, but still that vital spark wasn´t there for the home side. Dani Gomez was always the best goal hope, his work rate was up to his usual level but his final touch was short of the quality that had made him such a great player before the league lay off. Joselu has been a let down since his initial goal burst when joining in January. Bermejo has struggled to turn back the clock to his pre injury contributions, it all added up to an easier half than 10 man Malaga should have expected.

Forgotten striker Mierez took over from a frustrated Gomez with 10 minutes left, he could have dropped a big hint for a new contract, his header was just off target and no threat to Munir in goal. So a point was all that Tenerife could salvage from the game. Notorious slow starters, Tenerife are clearly going to need a few more of the remaining nine games to find their best form. Standing in 13th place there´s a lot of work to do to ensure they don´t slide into relegation worries. Minds should be sharpened for players like Mierez and joselu whose contracts run out when this season expires. Luis Milla showed plenty of fight in both games, thats going to impress the clutch of Primera clubs that want to swoop for him before the next season gets under way in mid August. The frustration was more intense than usual for the fans, hopefully a proposed July return to the stadium for around a third of the 23,000 capacity will add some much needed vocal encouragement.

 

Unfinished Business For Tenerife Football

Despite finishing third in the Tercera Division, Group 12, CD Marino were declared champions after the season was ended early due to the Coronavirus lockdown. Up there with the infamous Duckworth Lewis method of deciding cricket matches, this decision was based on results between leaders SD Tenisca of La Palma and the blues from the border of Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas. Any champagne being spilled would have been soured by a decision that would upset all football purists, and certainly had the Tenisca club spitting feathers.

Marino had a game in hand and had recently beaten Tenisca 3-1 at home to establish a better coeficient but it must have been hard for the La Palma side to take, they brought a small army of 200 plus fans over for the February game, wonderful support at that level. The top four teams now go into promotion play offs for progress from Spain´s fourth tier to a vastly reorganised Segunda B Division (third tier) next season. Atletico Paso, also of La Palma, also felt badly treated as they had a game in hand on fourth spot and in theory could have crashed the play off party.

Even those climax games are subject to clearance from the health authorities and may well be played behind closed doors on the neautral Canary Island of La Gomera. CD Bahia Santiago in Playa Santiago is the proposed venue for the two semi finals and a grand final with the victor getting promoted, if the climax games cant be played, CD Marino will automatically be promoted.There should be plenty of addesd spice to the play offs after the unusual end to the season. The play offs are a much sought after economic boost to the semi pro clubs, even without fans this year, coverage from TV Canaria could offer them the payout that is so vital to the clubs involved. The other two teams for the games are Tamaraceite of Gran Canaria and San Fernando of Maspalomas, Gran Canaria.

CD Tenerife are back in training to hopefully complete the 2019-2020 Second Division, if the governing bodies and players union can hammer out a working plan for the outstanding 11 games. Five players tested positive in the top two divisions of La Liga just before teams restarted training, Tenerife came through their first round of coronavirus testing all clear but there are many worries to be addressed. La Liga wants to play the concluding games at a frantic pace of a amtch every 72 hours and with an option of four water breaks a game as summer turns up the heat.

Tenerife started with individual players training in small separated zones with masked coaches on hand, the idea being to increase the groups through three and then eight players before full open training. The remainder of the season would be followed with a short breat of around two weeks before launching into the 2020-2021 season. the situation would create lots of extra pressure on players, and fans would be kicking their heels away from the stadiums but at least the TV monster would get fed and we could get our beloved sport back. Fingers crossed, its been far too long without any live action.

Hugs, Handshakes, But No Hand Ball As CD Tenerife Rise To 12th Place

Masks, gloves, and bizarre pre match rituals were making headlines across European football, but in Santa Cruz, the home  crowds hand wringing was over poor eye sight. The dreary first half should have produced at least a CD Tenerife goal from the spot after a blatant defensive hand from visiting Ponferradina. At least the refs focus was better for the 77 th minute winning header from outstanding home defender Sipcic to seal a 1-0 win.

The creativity of midfield maestro Luis Milla was lost to a suspension but Undabarrena got a rare run out and worked hard to break uppromising early moves from Ponferradina. Shaq Moore also serving a one match ban, was a more difficult gap to fill. Daniel Lasure overcame an uncertain start on the left as Nahuel switched to the right. Neither side showed much first half flair, too many square balls and back passes sucked the excitement out of the game. The best opening was made from a deep ball that Dani Gomez held up only to see Nahuel snatch at this shot and clear the crossbar.

Ponferradina arrived in 8th place and had two good play makers in Omar Ramos and Nacho Gil but neither sides goalie had much wear and tear on their gloves in the first 45 minutes. The second half perked up a bit. Lasure started to show some ideas, and a goal mouth scramble saw the visiting keeper get a viral touch to the squirming ball as Dani Gomez tried to toe poke it over the line. Another corner from sub Javi Munoz needed a stretch from the goalie to ward it away.

 

Bermejo replaced Nahuel on the hour but he was still some way short of match fitness and the sparkling form he showed in early season. Dani Gomez tried a nifty interchange with the newly summoned player but it didnt quite work. Joselu´s goal scoring form after his January arrival has evaporated and he gave way to captain Suso. Sipcic has grown into a dominant central defender and also adds threat to set piece attacks. Another Javi Munoz corner was met by the Serbian´s glancing header as an away defender played him marginally onside. The goal was a fitting reward for the dogged determination of Tenerife. Otola was awoken from his slumber in the home goal to expand his muscles to tip a dangerous shot past the post to secure the three points.

 

It was not a scintillating performance from Tenerife but coach Baraja has added a steely resolve to the squad and the 9,392 fans were even more delighted to see that the win leapfrogged the team above inter island rival Las Palmas. Both sets of players showed the usual respect at the end of the game by embracing their opponents but the shadow of the Corona Virus outbreak was destined to throw more challenges in front of the upward charge. The next two games will be played behind closed doors, the second of those being a real relegation six pointer at home to Malaga – oh yes it´s still that close.

 

CD Tenerife Shine Through As Calima Ruffles Carnaval Feathers

Multi coloured wigs, garish dresses, and fantasy figures filled the Heliodoro stadium with joyous song as CD Tenerife beat Elche 1-0 in the Santa Cruz Carnaval game. But top billing of the afternoon went to the mean spirited home defence as they underscored another impressive team performance.

The gradual encroachment of the thick sand and dust calima turned the sky into an oppressive hot dome but it was the 6th placed visitors who looked parched and drained by the end of the game. Former Tenerife scoring legend, Nino, may be 39 now but he led the visiting attack and his wide shot after 7 minutes was a warning that he still has goals in his locker. At the other end of the pitch, and age scale, Dani Gomez, a mere 21, boosted his growing status with his 6th goal of the season. A headed ball down to the young gun was hooked to his right and despatched between goalie and post.

Home coach Baraja has instilled a sense of team responsibility, Dani even came deep to cover for Elche´s few forays forward. Luis Perez and Alex Munoz were keen to turn defence into breakaways, Perez is being courted by several La Liga teams for next season but he was as consistent and focused as ever, he made Cruz look like a novice when he nicked he ball off the forward. Alberto is also attracting envious eyes at a time when he is back to his brilliant best. The central defender was strong and aggressive but without the lapses in concentration that had haunted his early season form. Sipcic, alongside him, has upped his game too as shown with his perfectly timed header to defuse Pepe Milia.

What would Carnaval be without a clown? VAR and the ref filled that role with the worst example so far of man and machine in perfect disharmony. The ref with no clear incident or complaint, checked in with VAR and then gave a free kick way out in midfield with no bearing on any game affecting offence. Dani Gomez started the second half with another close shave at goal and just past the Elche post. Munoz had a half chance after Shaq Moore had made good inroads down the right wing as Nahuel worked he left flank. Joselu´s early goal burst after his January arrival, had been quiet in recent games but he worked hard and was sharp to turn into the box and poke a shot just beyond the post. The tall striker had a penalty shout when Verdu bundled him over but VAR was having a nap.

Javi Munoz and Mazan took over from Joselu and Nahuel for a cautious last ten minutes, and forgotten striker Mierez,got another few minutes run out to encourage his return to favour. There was still time for Dani Gomez to be clattered over when in a promising position. The score held as the home crowd poured out into the night to lubricate their calima dried throats. The revival trundles on and even the awful weather couldn’t obscure that.

 

 

 

CD Marino Give Union The Blues

Irresistible in attack and resilient in defence, CD Marino surveyed their Tercera division rivals from a three point lead after seeing off Union Puerto Rosario 2-1 in Playa de Las Americas. Chata was the first  player to have a go at goal, his wild blast didn’t trouble David in the home goal. The blues keeper had more of a test from a Juanmi back pass but claimed the ball comfortably.

Precious was making things tick at the heart of the Union midfield, he dug out a dead ball to feed Cebolla whose run floundered against the defensive resolve of Marino. It only took 15 minutes for Marino to take the lead, and it was a text book goal. Nami sped down the right and casually laid the ball across into the path of Santi for an easy slot in. Nami worked his magic again a few minutes later, this time the pass was to Charni who shot straight at the goalie. Ahmed has been a welcome return to the Marino numbers on the left, he can play the flicks and neat lay offs to set others on their way, but also has a keen eye for goal. On the half hour, Ahmed rode a defenders tackle and went on to tease his way past the outstretched goalie to double the lead.

That should have been enough to kill the game but Union came out for the second half with a positive attitude and made Marino work for their points. Precious saw his chance down the left for an unchallenged raid on the home goal and finished well to reduce the arrears. That woke up his team mates, Sandro came close to scoring from a corner but Diego and Saavedra held firm in the centre of defence. Ahmed was always ready to pounce for Marino, this time Paquito cleared the danger. Hector picked up from the visitors defence and aimed at David but the keeper plucked the ball under control.

Cebolla managed a weak header that hardly tickled David’s glove and Marino made a couple of quick swaps with Javi Gonzalez and Zeban forming a new frontal spearhead as Santi and Diego departed. Union tried to claw their way back but Marino have a sterner look this season and know how to close a game down. Paquito did well to repel a late bombardment from Marino, especially in the air, but the points were well already under lock  and key. There was more good news when second placed Tenisca slipped up with a defeat at CD Tenerife B to ensure some space between the blues and second placed Atletico Paso. It’s a test of nerves now to see if Marino can hold off the teams snapping at their heels. Top spot would deliver a shorter play off path when the 18 regional group winners fight for the promotion to Segunda B. Those left behind in the three runner up places face a long drawn out series of games to claim the big move up into the third tier of Spanish football.

Weary Warriors Put Sporting Gijon To The Sword

Riding the wave of confidence from their improved form, CD Tenerife swept Sporting Gijon aside for a 2-0 half time lead. The down side of the epic Kings Cup battles was physical and mental tiredness, leading to Gijon´s 83 rd minute peg back before a tense 2-1 home victory.

Alberto shielded the ball well and back to Dani Hernandez as Vazquez waited for early scraps. Dani Gomez and Joselu as an attacking pair promised much but it was centre back Sipcic who delivered an eighth minute lead with a powerful header through the midst of the visitors defence. The improving Serbian used his head again, this time at the other end soon after to clear a dangerous shot. Djurdjevic had an ambitious overhead bicycle kick with his back to goal but it trickled wide of the post. Alberto, back to his best form, denied Vazquez with a well timed header and Tenerife looked in control.

Injuries have blighted Tenerife´s season and it happened again when Dani Hernandez fell to the floor in agony after taking a goal kick. Treatment got him to his feet briefly but he was clearly in distress and had to go off , later diagnosis said an injured abductor muscle and at least five weeks side lined. Ortola took over between the sticks and a second goal in injury time put some welcome distance between the teams. Dani Gomez made the run into the box, Gijon half cleared and Joselu struck the rebound for his fourth goal in four games since arriving from Real Oviedo. Djurdjevic powered a header at Ortola to open the second half, the replacement keeper was equal to it and gathered the ball with ease.

Good interplay between Dani Gomez and Joselu hinted at a blossoming partnership but Dani fired straight at the goalie. Nahuel sliced a shot over the bar and Ortola made the goalies union proud with a smart save under pressure. Coach Baraja could see his players batteries running down and opted to sit back on the lead by bringing on Undabarrena for Joselu. As the home pace slackened, Luis Perez showed some speed down the flank and dropped in a tempting cross that the Gijon keeper plucked out of the air. Alex Muñoz for Nahuel was another safety move but it didn´t prevent a Pablo Perez goal as he slipped in between Alberto and Sipcic and finished smartly.

Tenerife did enough to play out the final seven minutes to keep them just above the relegation zone. The next few hours added to the upbeat mood as the club rejected a 2.5 million euro Girona offer for Luis Milla. The January transfer window was a positive one for Tenerife, Joselu has settled into scoring form, Daniel Lasure from Zaragoza had a steady home debut at left back, and late arrival midfielder Javi Muñoz from Alaves, and centre back Lluis Lopez from Espanyol are waiting in the wings. Trimming the wage bill, the club farmed out top earning shot shy strikers Malbasic (to Cadiz) and Naranjo to Lanaraca of Cyprus.

 

Sweet Smell Of Success As CD Marino Put Their Noses In Front

Overcoming a 10 th minute SD Tenisca goal, CD Marino surged back for a 3-1 win to move three points clear at the top of their Tercera Division group. In the process they leapt two teams from the island of La Palma, as Atletico Paso had joined the level points summit with a win the previous evening. It could be an omen, a prophecy, or simply a fitting reward for another strong team performance in Playa de Las Americas.

The large inter island following of Tenisca fans vented their anger at the referees decisions, but their team should have built on a well struck Agoney goal after 19 goal top scorer, Dani Gomez, showed his play making side by winning the ball with his back to goal before passing. Marino are good at reeling teams in and started to find their shape and purpose. Roy picked out Nicki who set up a Nami shot that the visiting defence covered. Jorge Gomez threatened for Tenisca but Lopez was being closely shadowed by Diego.

As Roy got more involved, Marino started to pressure the white shirted visitors. Ahmed was drifting in from the left and Nami got the better of Cardenas to force a couple of corners that came to nothing. Agoney slipped his chains and let fly a good shot that David controlled at the second grab. It was a good open game as the teams tested each other. The swirling wind that had blown the subs dugouts over pre game, made high crosses difficult to predict and Oli made some important interventions for the blues. Ahmed managed a few wide strikes but Marino needed to put more direct pressure on goalie Garate.

The half ended in frustration for Tenisca as Chus fouled  Samuel with a high trip, his booking was quickly doubled up to a second yellow and he was off, his team mates and supporters were incensed but the decision stood. That put the pressure on Tenisca, Cardenas served them well with some tight, calm defending. Charni should have done better with his wide shot but there was better to come as after good work from Ahmed, Charni was fouled in the box and Javi Gonzalez  scored from a penalty to put Marino level. Jorge Gomez went close to answering with a shot past the Marino post but just three minutes later Ahmed got the goal his efforts deserved and Marino were in front.

Oli did well to bottle up Gomez as Tenisca sought a way back, a corner made little impact on the Marino defence and Roy went close again at the other end. Home sub Michael was making good headway down the left and left Cabezola trailing behind as he rounded him but couldn´t produce a telling shot. A third goal was needed to ensure a home victory, sub Santi Ramirez obliged in the 76th minute , latching onto a ball in from the left. Tenisca´s mood was not helped when the ref denied a penalty appeal for an Oli tackle on Gomez in the box. The La Palma side staged a late rally, Dani Lopez missed a good chance after Agoney and Cabezola cut loose but it was too late and Marino were delighted to claim the three valuable points.

Kings Cup Gives, Gives, And Gives Again For Football Fans

Six open play goals, extra time, a penalty shoot out, and two players sent off. But those dramatic ingredients were just tasters of the sumptuous feast of football as CD Tenerife´s Copa Del Rey dream ended in glorious failure, losing 2-4 to Athletic Bilbao on penalties after a 3-3 draw.  Bilbao goalie, Herrerin floored Shaq Moore as he jumped for a high ball just five minutes into the game, and a late VAR call ensured a red card for him and a penalty for his replacement Ezkieta to face. Joselu slotted the ball past the new keeper and ignited the 17,484 crowd that included a good sprinkling of Basque fans mixed with the home supporters.

It was already brewing into a great celebration of the good things in football, and Bilbao striker Inaki Williams received wide spread applause and the chanting of his name during the ninth minute from the home fans as a show of disgust at his racial abuse from Espanyol fans in his last game. The young striker was one of the jewels in the star studded line up from the La Liga team and showed his goal touch after 17 minutes from a Yuri raid down the left. Home coach Ruben Baraja has cultivated a growing resilience among the Tenerife players, it shone brightly just a few minutes later. Elliot found a burst of speed and cut in wide behind two defenders before setting up Joselu to restore the lead.

 

Even a player short, Bilbao looked a class outfit, they seemed to have more time on the ball, better options, and a willingness to spread the play quickly. Ortola had to make a couple of good saves to guide Tenerife to the break, and he carried on after the restart by tipping another chance aside. A little confusion between a Milla back pass and Javi Alonso´s stretch to intercept the ball, left the door ajar and Inaki didn´t need a written invite to pick out the back of the net to square the scores. It was all finely poised and the atmosphere in the stadium was red hot as the home fans turned up the volume. Extra time was looming, not an ideal situation with vital league games ahead and several key players injured, but the magic of the night swept the players along with it.

So 15 minutes each way was the next hurdle. Dani Gomez was brought on for Undabarrena, a positive attacking swap to show Tenerife´s ambition. Play got more frantic as nerves frayed, Dani got brought down by some sturdy tackles but shrugged them off and continued to battle. Carlos Ruiz got an unwelcome second sending off in consecutive games when his loose tackle on Inaki earned a second booking. The continued threat of Dani Gomez brought its reward, Leicue chopped him down in the box and the ref pointed to the penalty spot. The 21 year old showed nerves of steel to convert the kick with just five minutes to hang on for a momentous victory.

There was more drama to squeeze out. A loose ball outside the home box was crashed in to the Tenerife net by Yuri and the agonising remaining three minutes ebbed away to usher in the dreaded five penalties each ordeal. Bilbao led the way and the alternate shots were finished with precision until Joselu put the ball over the bar. After Vilalibre netted, the pressure was all on Shaq Moore who missed. It was a cruel end but the Heliodoro was bouncing with pride and praise. Tenerife gained so much from their performance and will look to use it as a springboard to continue their improvement and rise away from any relegation threat.

Cup Goes From Stale Tea To Champagne For CD Tenerife

Talk about a slow burner. There were wholesale changes to the regular line ups of CD Tenerife and Real Valladolid and it showed in a half pace first half, but the home side grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck after the break to win this Copa del Rey (Kings Cup) tie 2-1. The Tenerife starting line up was particularly baffling with full back Shaq Moore wandering in a midfield no mans land and surplus defenders Sipcic and Isma Lopez could have put a card in a newsagents window to get a new club, their play was so poor. Ortola started back in goal and was relieved that Sandro hit his early strike straight into his body. Javi Alonso ha a let off when he miss timed a defensive tackle and it was all far from a feast of football. It was a different story in the second half as both sides warmed to their task.

Elliot was getting some good home crosses in, new signing Joselu showed that he would be a real asset up front with his heading ability. Sandro made the break through though with a shot that was only part saved by Ortola, he showed nifty footwork to tuck the loose ball in the goal.  Lopez got adventurous and unleashed a shot that just missed the Valladolid post as belief spread through the home side. Just after the hour, Elliot launched another teasing cross and Joselu rose between the markers to head the ball down and past the goalie. That raised everybody spirits and the arrival of sub Dani Lopez for Joselu cranked up the forward momentum. The 20 year old strikers first chance came when he latched onto a deep pass but couldn´t squeeze it the right side of the post.

Valladolid´s goalie had to be replaced after picking up an injury, his replacement had plenty to keep him busy. Dani Gomez was a real livewire as always, his enthusiasm rubbed off on his team mates and the 8,408 crowd. The cold night air and the glare of the floodlights promised a little bit of magic to come, and it did. Into the final five minutes and the charge was on, Dani was just short of reach to poke a squirming ball past the struggling goalie but the next surge was more fruitful. Sandro had a mixed night for the visitors but his lingering memory will be of his clumsy push on free flowing Dani Gomez that brought a penalty. From the moment the striker put the ball on the spot his determination was clear and he sent the keeper the wrong way to claim the lead and hurdled the boards to milk the fans applause.

The final few minutes were full of celebration, cup success has been elusive in recent seasons so the outpouring of joy went on after the ref had signalled the end of the game. Two home wins on the trot is not to be sniffed at, with the derby at Las Palmas and a possible La Liga giant at home a few days later in the next cup round, the smiles are back among the CD Tenerife fans.

 

Rear Guard Stand Firm For CD Tenerife Victory

Shackled, blunted, and generally frustrated. Even 18 goal Stuani didn´t get a look in for visiting Girona as CD Tenerife gave a 1-o defensive master class. It took just eight minutes for fit again Nahuel to storm down the left, beat two markers, and side foot the winning goal. The unlucky striker didn´t have time to celebrate as he pulled up injured and had to be replaced. That adversity merely toughened CD Tenerife´s resolve.

Former Middlesbrough striker Stuani soon got the message as Alberto expertly blocked his progress. Back to his inspired best, Alberto and central partner Carlos Ruiz formed a formidable barrier for the Girona team. Luis Perez polished up his own skills as well with four text book interventions in the first half, it was stirring stuff for the 9,454 crowd. Girona arrived with big money backing and big ideas but they counted for nothing against the hard work and pride of their hosts. Surging left back Mojica was a danger with his tricky runs but even he was overwhelmed by the brick wall in front of him.

Diamanka had the only clear Girona chance of the first half, heading wide  from a long threaded pass. Borja Garcia was confident with a turn and shot 10 minutes after the break but Dani Hernandez got his body behind it for a solid save, one of many he contributed to the game. Jozabed saw the big pink goalies gloves swallow his later attempt, Dani  has been enjoying a second lease of life after getting his starting role back. There was no shortage of effort from the home attack either. Dani Gomez led the line with endless running and a nose for a half chance. Coach Baraja arrived in December pledging to make Tenerife hard to beat, his replacement of forward Jorge with holding midfielder Undabarrena underlined that commitment. As the game neared its end, Elliot had a close effort and Dani punched away a desperate Girona attempt. The Tenerife players euphoric reaction to the final whistle showed their pride in a job well done and hopefully a turning point in the season.