Archive for the 'CD Tenerife' Category
Travel Broadens The Ambitions Of CD Tenerife

Reinventing themselves means smashing a few old barriers, poor away form was always a problem for CD Tenerife but 4 points from an early Sunday start in Albacete, and a Thursday evening at Elche was a massive boost.
Finding their groove, CD Tenerife were easy like a Sunday morning as they romped to a 0-4 win at Albacete. Easy on the eye wth cool, assured team play, there were towering performances all over the pitch. Coach Aritz Lopez Garai was purring as his plans came together thanks to the inclusion of two more summer signings.
Ramon Mierez started as the central striker and led the line confidently, and Alex Munoz made his bow in the centre of defence and was a calming influence on those around him. The reshuffle saw Malbasic out on the right, his opening minute run and cross caused havoc in the home defence for Alex Bermejo to finish the move clinically for a goal to add to his previous weeks eye catching performance. Munoz is also experienced in the left back berth and covered well to release Robert Mazan for some lightning raids. There was only 13 minutes on the clock when a Borja Lasso corner from the right flew over to a deep left position where Mazon cracked a quality goal into the bottom corner of the net. Albacete had their moments, a high right cross looked threatening before goalie Adrian Ortola plucked the ball out of the air one handed. This was dreamland, even when Malbasic had a hesitant shot blocked as unmarked Borja Lasso was screaming for the pass, it was a mere wrinkle in the master plan.

Into the second half, Ortola robbed a danger ball off a home forwards head, and Mierez hit a post as the work rate never relented. Borja was typical of the effort the Tenerife players were pouring in, he unlocked the hosts defence and Mierez sneaked in for a cheeky close header that even VAR couldn´t deny to make it 0-3 after 72 minutes. Tenerife had the luxury of being able to give substitute run outs to two more of the summer brigade. Dani Gomez beat his marker and drilled his shot between defenders to round up the scoring just prior to the end of normal time. Nahuel Leiva, a left winger who squeezed in just before the transfer window closed, also got a brief taste of the action to bring competition for all places a step nearer. This was one of the most impressive Tenerife displays for many years.

Moving on to Elche, hopes were high but the home side, inspired by ex Tenerife goal legend Nino, gave them a tough start. Luis Milla returned from suspension to allow veteran midfielder Aitor Sanz a rest. Nino forced a corner after 8 minutes and Quasma got a boot in behind Carlos Ruiz to grab a home lead. Tenerife lost their shape briefly but rallied with Malbasic strong down the right and Alberto dominant in midfield. A delightful cross field ball from left back Mazan to righ back Luis Perez deserved a decent finish but the best chance came near the end of the first half. A Luis Milla free kick dropped into a crowded goal mouth and Alex Munoz got a head to it but the ball skidded out off the post.

Dani Gomez replaced Mierez for the second half and revitalised the away chase. After 63 minutes another Malbasic cross was met by a powerful Borja header to level the score. Tenerife bossed the remainder of the game, Alex Bermejo had a couple of golden moments, only the goalies faint touch stopped the best one. Elche appealed for a hand ball and penalty with 15 minutes to go but the hairs on the hand of Carlos Ruiz got no more than a passing breeze, and the VAR call confirmed that. Ortola´s confident interception of a cross in the 5 minutes of injury time sealed a deserved point and continued a surge in the right direction.

Canarian Derby Draw Is Nothing To Brag About

One man short and a late penalty called against them, it´s no wonder CD Tenerife were relieved to get a 0-0 home draw with inter island arch rivals UD Las Palmas. Summers ten man tidal wave of signings has so far translated to just a trickle of new faces on the pitch and the lack of goals is already a concern. Progress is slow for Tenerife but two of the new players, goalie Adrian Ortola, and midfielder Alex Bermejo led the rallying call for those still in the shadows.

Slovakian left back Robert Mazan had been underlining his name in the starting line up but international duty meant Isma Lopez got a recall. Chief culprit in the previous weeks 4-0 pasting at Ponferradina, Nicola Sipcic was dropped with old reliable Carlos Ruiz taking his centre back role. Curbelo gave the yellow visitors the first chance but missed by some distance after a mazy run. Tenerife swept a shot wide at the other end and a brilliant tackle by Luis Perez stopped Bela from setting up another Las Palmas effort, and set the tone for a nervy battle of two sides down at the wrong end of the table.

The Gran Canarian team have had money problems and trying to enforce wage cuts on players hasn´t made for a happy ship. Earlier in the week, 16 year old Tenerife born Pedri signed for Barcelona in a transfer worth a possible five million euros, and was promptly loaned back to Las Palmas. It´s a heavy burden to carry and the midfielder struggled to show glimpses of his potential. Malbasic held his place up front for Tenerife, he blows hot and cold but was a Saturday night iceberg when he was needed. The old clumsy touch and slow responses were back. Bermejo was starting to make openings from midfield but they needed a responsive striker.

Ortola was the hero when Las Palmas made a quick break after 20 minutes, he tipped a fierce shot up and off the underside of the crossbar to deny a sure goal. Aitor Sanz was no slouch when Lopez made a poor clearance, the midfield veteran kept a cool head and cleared the danger. After Tenerife failed to inflict damage from a Perez earned corner, Aitor was in action again at the other end with a smart header to keep Las Palmas out just before the break. The second half opened with goalie Martinez flattening Malbasic but getting awarded a free kick just outside his area, it looked closer to inside the line and a possible penalty but VAR didn´t want to get invloved. Bermejo darted through a gap down the left and fired at shot that found the keepers waiting arms. Martinez was pushing his luck with the ref, he fell and rolled blaming Malbasic but it was flattering the Serbian striker to suggest he was that dangerous.

Losing Luis Milla was a blow for the home side after 67 minutes, the midfielder went for  a  losse tackle on Pedri, it was the first red card for the 26 year old in his senior career, he will sit out one match. Ramon Mierez took over from Malbasic to add to his brief debut the previous week. The Argentinian forward won a high duel and flicked the ball off to Bermejo, he controlled it before shooting just wide, but it was a promising link up between the pair. Ortola had to make a couple of smart saves as the action switched ends, and Luis Perez, again outstanding, tested Martinez with a high cross. The 18,000 crowd felt the tension rise as Las Palmas had a penalty shout for a foul on their goalie, the waits seem to get longer but VAR squashed the claim. Five minutes of added time turned the screw but a draw was probably the fair result on the night. Two away games in five days will be a fierce test for Tenerife, they will need to blood the three untried new players, including former Spurs and England youth player Samuel Shashoua, once he is fit.

Heads Up As CD Tenerife Fans Rage Against The Machine

Much improved was the fans reaction to a couple of superb headers in a 3-2 home win for CD Tenerife. Must do better was coach Aritz Lopez Garai´s assesment of the two defensive mistakes that nearly let Numancia back into the game. But a damming verdict of clueless and slow was the judgement of the 10,550 crowd and most players on VAR, once again the party pooper.

The summer signings had created an air of hope and expectancy. Slovakian left back, Robert Mazan made his bow and had a steady game, Serbian Nikola Sipcic resumed his place in the centre of defence thanks to a last minute 50-50 fitness call after his whack on the head at Zaragoza in the opening game. Malbasic was keen from the start and welcomed the visiting goalie to the action with a testing shot. Adrian Ortola got the nod in goal and hardly ruffled his beard with a routine take of a cross from Mistou. The Suso, Luis Perez combination on the right mixes youth and experience well, the captain hangs back when needed to let the young gun hit the pedal, but can still add his own threat. Numancia had to clear a couple of the skippers early half chances.

Just before the break, Milla floated in a deep corner into an open space, Borja Lasso soon filled it with a sneaky run and a lunging header that left the goalie grasping at air. Into the second half and d the party pooper. Malbasic set up Naranjo to score but the unwanted guest, VAR, butted in and after an agonising wait the ref ruled a no goal. A few minutes later there was another embarrassing gap before the ref gave an obvious hand ball penalty for Suso to convert. The lack of communication between the ref, the players, and the crowd was particularly annoying.

Maybe it was the delay, frustration, or just a lapse in concentration but with the defence absent, Ortola raced to the edge of his area as Higino swerved around his wild lunge. Alberto was racing back but could only watch the ball trickle into the net. Dani Lopez got his chance to join the attack as he replaced Naranjo but it was Suso and Malbasic whose link up should have increased the lead but the Serbian´s shot didn´t have the staying power. The slender lead needed fattening up, Borja crowned one of his best games with a slick set up, Malbasic judged it perfectly as he flicked his head to direct the ball into the net.

As if the antics of VAR weren´t enough, the stadium scoreboard went into meltdown and blanked out, at least it ha already shown the message of solidarity with the fire ravaged people of Gran Canaria. With no way of telling if enough time had been added for the lengthy stoppages, it was a nervous ending to the game. Curro was unmarked and saw the empty spaces where the Tenerife defence should have been. Racing through he kept ahead of another fruitless back track by Alberto and reduced the lead to 3-2 just before the final whistle blew. There´s plenty more to do on the training ground but as the rest of the new arrivals get their chance, competition for places should sharpen up and already promising outlook.

Aches And Pains Of CD Tenerife Opening Defeat

With a thud that could almost be heard back in Tenerife, Real Zaragoza’a Blanco and the visitors Nikola Sipcic met head on as they leapt for a 50-50 high ball. The CD Tenerife Serbian defender crumpled to the floor, and that was the end of his debut game as he went off for treatment. It was typical of a cruel evening that saw Tenerife´s good work undermined by misfortune and a ludicrous VAR decision on the way to an opening 2-0 league defeat.

Coach Aritz Lopez Garai was hampered before the game even started, two other new players, Slovakian full back Robert Mazan, and striker Ramon Mierez missed the big kick off with injury niggles. That didn’t stop their team mates from making the big spending, hotly tipped promotion favourites look very ordinary in the first half. Shinji Kagawa ,nicknamed the Japanese Messi, is Zaragoza’s big coup of a signing but the Tenerife defence and midfield restricted him to an early wide shot after a break down the right. Borja Lasso tested the home defence with a blast from outside the box, and Suso combined well with Luis Perez whose cross was taken off the head of Sipcic.
Right back Perez had been the star of pre season games with his driving runs down the wing, he wriggled free of the home defence but his shot was a little wayward. The Tenerife front line had a familiar look, Malbasic brought a long pass under control and was shaping up for a shot when the Zaragoza goalie came out to deny him. There was even some cheeky stroking around of the ball to frustrate the home players and crowd. By the half hour water break the local fans only had a luke warm impression of their new side. Luis Milla tried his luck but powered the ball over the Zaragoza goal.

In the final five minutes of the half, Zaragoza upped their game. Adrian Ortola, who had wrestled the gloves off seasoned regular Dani Hernandez, made a clean stop to deny Raphael. Zaragoza charged again and caught the Tenerife defence flat footed, Aitor Sanz was too late with a sliding intervention and Suarez fired past Ortola to take the lead. That changed the whole mood of the game, Zaragoza looked more at ease in the second half, Raphael put another effort just the wrong side of the goal post. Suso rushed a shot at the other end and it gave the keeper no problems. Then that clash of heads made matters worse, Sipcic had been influential in defence and supporting the attack. Carlos Ruiz took over his role and Dani Gomez replaced Naranjo up front. When Zaragoza pressed again, Ortola let the ball squirm away from him and was grateful to Ruiz for clearing the threat.

 

On a sultry night, water seemed to be a prelude to disaster, after the second cooler break Carlos Ruiz brought down an opponent and was sent off for two bookings. More frantic shuffling was accompanied by the arrival of Alex Bermejo for Sanz, but new coach Garai had more setbacks heading his way. With two minutes of regular time left, Bermejo tripped an incoming Zaragoza player just outside the box, both sides were gearing up for a free kick when the ref pointed to the penalty spot under advice from VAR, on the first day of its introduction to the Segunda Division. It came just hours after another shocking call in the Manchester City v Tottenham game and underlined the faults in the system. Ros converted the kick to complete a frustrating match, and after the game Luis Perez needed seven stitches in a face wound and Sipcic was kept in hospital overnight for observation.. Coach Garai was the one with the biggest headache, a bundle of selection problems to juggle before the home opener against Numancia but should draw some encouragement from the first half display.

CD Tenerife Seek New Recipe In Pre Season Pie

You could almost feel sorry for football´s pre season friendly games. Few fans remember them and the results often confound, mislead, and confuse supporters. For CD Tenerife the 2019-2020 build up was even more of a leap into the unknown than usual. Latest coach on the conveyor belt, Aritz Lopez Garai, a sprightly 38 year old, arrived via brief experience at the helm for Reus and Numancia. Then new players started to arrive, and arrive, and arrive.

The opening two games served up 13 goals scored and none conceded. A 0 – 9 triumph over three levels inferior Aguillas, at T3 in La Caleta, and a 0-4 win at CD Marino featured the usual mass changing of players at half time.Top scoring at Top Training went to Luis Perez, Sevilla recruit Alex Bermejo, and B teamer Josue with two apiece.The most pleasing sight though was to see midfielder Aitor Sanz return from a 16 month achilles tendon nightmare.
The goals quartet was crammed into the first 28 minutes at CD Marino. Borja Lasso with a header, Naranjo chipped the home keepers bad clearance over his head, and Malbasic looked sharp with two well taken strikes. The big Sebian and Naranjo tied as top scorers last season with just six league goals each, both were big earners and may well go before the big kick off. Nano, who only struck four times, is back at parent club Eibar. Josue and 20 year old Dani Gomez from Real Madrid B looked willing in the opening games but a little light weight. the wait for new fire power was underway.

The new coach was in the spotlight. Using full backs to overlap and create openings stood out in his first games, three more captures in the run up to the Teide Trophy game, fitted that tactic. American right back Shaq Moore, and Slovakian Robert Mazan (25) got brief run outs but Cultural Leonesa had a fairly comfortable 0-3 victory. The next new signings were also in the 23 to 26 age bracket, we had been promised younger players with fire in their boots. Centre back Alex Munoz (24) from Real Zaragoza can cover left back or midfield. Nikola Sipsic, a 6 foot plus centre back from Serbia was next to make a show at the south airport.

It wasn´t all hard work, fitness and team bonding were helped along by running in the Tenerife hills, and river rafting at a weeks training camp in Portugal. That included a less impressive 4-2 defeat to Sparta Braga B with goals from Bermejo and Malbasic, and a much better 0-1 win v Celta Vigo with a Malbasic finish from a Luis Perez cross. Adrian Ortola from Barcelona via Deportivo started in goal and will fancy his chances of replacing Dani Hernandez for the starting role in the league.

Unlike the UK, Spain´s transfer window closes on 2 September, Argentinian striker Ramon Mierez could be the goal bagger we wanted, the 22 year old Argentinian has netted a fair record at Alaves and did better on loan in Croatia last season. A couple of more new boys may arrive but the worry is fending off admirers of our best stars like Alberto and Luis Milla. Real Madrid Castilla, the final warm up, will see us return to the Heliodoro Stadium in Santa Cruz before a tough league opener at Real Zaragoza on 17 August. Anything can happen this season, and probably will, but being back with the Armada Sur for a weekly football fix is a joyous prospect.

People To Remember And A Season To Forget

Goodbye, and in some cases good riddance were the sentiments as CD Tenerife ended their troubled season with a 1-0 home win over Real Zaragoza. A few players heard their names chanted by the 11,652 crowd, recognition of their efforts for the cause but others will feel the recriminations as they are cut loose as change rips through the club. The night was all about praising two departing defensive heroes, Raul Camara got a rare start, 35 years old and 174 Tenerife games down the line, his contract is not being renewed, the little tiger dug deep to sign off with his customary energy and hard tackling. Jorge Saenz oozed class as the local born 22 year old showed why Valencia were so eager to sign him for next season.

Big changes are needed, coach Sampedro in the last of his four game deal, gave league debuts to 24 year old goalie Angel Galvan, and 20 year old B team holding midfielder Javi Alonso from Adeje. Loaned out to lower league teams and then rooted to the bench as back up to Dani Hernandez, the keeper impressed with a triple save in the opening minutes. A deflection needed an agile push away, another touch repelled the returning ball, and a decisive high take was needed when Gual tried a shot through a crowd of players. Pombo tested Angel again with a blast that he held firmly. Zaragoza were also free of any lingering relegation worries so the tempo of the game wasn´t full on but it was still competitive.

Nano continued his poor form by missing a golden chance when Naranjo set him up, the shot went outside the post when it looked easier to score. Alonso looked comfortable just in front of the back four, it allowed Tenerife to build some good creative moves. Montañes was another home player eager to avoid the squad cut, he had a strong first half including a neat set up for Naranjo that was snuffed out by the goalie after a weak shot. Jorge could have crowned his farewell with a headed goal from a corner but the goalie reacted well. Tenerife had a penalty shout after Eguaras brought down Naranjo, at least the refusal was consistent with other visiting refs. Carlos Ruiz replaced Alberto after the break, an outstanding May earned the veteran another years contract. Tenerife desperately wanted to end the season with a win, Nano made it come true with a well headed goal from a Luis Milla cross before Zaragoza had settled for the second half. It was only the strikers third goal of the season, Malbasic and Naranjo had six each, big clues to he teams struggle this season.

The mature home defenders rolled back the years, Carlos Ruiz won a hard tackle and got in a half shot, Raul Camara did a great clear up and then went down after winning a crunching tackle. Although he got back up, the defender gave way to Luis Perez a few minutes later, his departure brought a crescendo of applause. Zaragoza went close to levelling as they pinged a shot off the post, it was soon followed by another diving save from Angel. Could Naranjo offer some argument to keep him for a second season, his sliced shot over the visitors bar gave a resounding no. As for Nano, he was subbed for Tyronne, both forwards look ripe for unloading. The game was winding down, Jorge got a big cheer when he blocked Gual, the player of the season gets better all the time, and many expect him to make the step up to the senior Spain squad in the next few seasons.

A Malbasic miss and Angel save, and the game was over. Raul and Jorge posed for photos with their team mates in front of the stand before running to the home stronghold behind the goal to receive the adoration and thanks of the fans. The special bond that exists between players that honour the shirt, and the fans, is strong. Luis Milla is the biggest remaining star at Tenerife, fighting off his many admirers this summer will be tough. Constant chants for the resignation of President Concepcion rained down during the match, but he shows no sign of stepping aside. The next coach has a big rebuilding job to do, the club have already moved quickly to add a 20 year old midfielder, Alex Bermejo, from Espanyol B team. The line up for next seasons opening game will be very different but the fans will be back with renewed passion and hope.

CD Tenerife Crawl Over The Survival Line

Sighs of relief replaced the hoped for roars of victory as CD Tenerife shared a passive 0-0 draw at Lugo. After 70 minutes it looked grim as survival rivals Rayo Mahadahonda led 1-3 at Real Oviedo. That would have condemned shot shy Tenerife to a nerve shredding final game at home to Real Zaragoza with a win their only chance of staying in the Segunda Division. All the drama came at the other game as Oviedo fought back to win 4-3, mobiles and hand signals kept the anxious players in the loop at Lugo and confirmed their Houdini act.

As a game, the goal less draw exposed all the flaws that have haunted Tenerife all season, silly errors, no cohesion, and poor finishing. The passion of injured Captain Suso was sorely missed, the calming influence of Jorge was also absent due to suspension, and the undoubted midfield talent of Racic was left on the bench after a night club appearance on social media when he was out injured. Carlos Ruiz kept his place in the centre of defence and made a well timed clearance from a Viera raid in the opening minutes. Alberto showed his defensive qualities when he blocked his former Tenerife team mate Iriome

Isma Lopez was back in midfield, he added width on the Tenerife left and forced a save from the home goalie. Right back Luis Perez tried a lob shot from midfield but it fizzled out when it reached the keeper. Left back Hector Hernandez also had attacking thoughts and tested the goalie with a hanging cross. Lugo, also fighting relegation, came more into the game, after Alberto lost the ball, Herrera tried to tuck a shot inside Dani Hernandez but found him at his best. The away goalie was sharp again to deny a crisp shot from Lazo. The best Tenerife move of the game came from Malbasic, he easily beat Luis Ruiz in midfield and threaded his way past two defenders before unleashing a fierce shot that the home goalie tipped over the bar. Nano also had a half chance but slipped as he shaped up for a shot that went high of the target.

Lugo turned up the pressure, Luis Ruiz flashed a shot just wide of the Tenerife post. Naranjo tripped over his own feet just before the break, another reminder of his paltry six goal haul this season. The second half saw more tense moments as Carlos Ruiz tidied up another Lugo raid. Lazo conjured a home chance out of nothing but his cross cum shot went begging as team mates were too slow to add a touch into the net. Every minute that passed was another turn of the screw for both sides. Nano hit a soft shot at the home goalie before being subbed. It was a crucial moment, Mahadahonda’s had just taken a 1-3 lead and Tenerife needed to attack and go for a win. Coach Sampedro made the wrong switch, striker Coniglio has been even less inspiring than Nano and a midfielder or defender should have been going off. Coniglio is at least consistent, a good cross from the right picked him out but he didn´t even get near to putting it in the goal.

Milla wasted a short corner as the deficit was reduced at Oviedo. Montañes replaced Lopez, and Dani missed an easy high cross to make the nerves jangle a bit more. It´s difficult to criticise Dani, a few glaring errors have crept into the Venezuelan international number ones game but he has saved Tenerife so many times. A probing Lugo cross in the 84th minute was expertly cut out by Dani just before Racic took over from his fellow Serbian, Malbasic. Crowd excitement alerted the players to the equalising goal at Oviedo as both games went into injury time. Tenerife heard the final whistle first and agonising seconds later the last gasp Mahadahonda winner and full time seeped through. Even Hitchcock or Spielberg would have struggled to come up with anything so dramatic. The Tenerife players joy may be short lived, many seem to expect cosmetic summer tinkering to the squad, but a ruthless cull is needed, and there is no shortage of candidates for the exit door.

Vintage Pair Keep CD Tenerife Out Of The Cellar

With a combined age just short of 70, Suso and Carlos Ruiz inspired their younger team mates as their determination and pride led the way in a 2-1 home victory over Real Oviedo. There´s still the small matter of the final two games to overcome but CD Tenerife can feel more confident of keeping their place in the Segunda Division.

New coach Louis Cesar Sampedro showed he had learnt from his crushing 3-0 debut defeat at Elche, he shuffled the pack, Carlos Ruiz became the dependable rock in the centre of defence, allowing Alberto to return to a deep midfield role. Camille gave way to Hector Hernandez at left back and the gaping holes of the previous week were closed down. Tenerife soon warmed to their task, Nano rushed an early chance past the post, and visiting goalie Champagne tipped another home effort aside. The stadium was buzzing with hope and expectation as a 16,488 crowd basked in the heat of a rare Sunday afternoon game.

Carlos Ruiz showed his worth when Barceñas made some space before sending a dangerous cross into the box, a sprightly jump and a strong header from the veteran defender cleared the danger. Suso was fired up for battle and even an elbow in the face from Moussa wasn´t going to put him off. The gallant home skipper played on with a cheek fracture that would divert him to hospital after the game. Hector was keen to force Tenerife to rethink their intention of releasing him in the summer, he made a couple of well timed interventions when Oviedo threatened. Luis Perez was not quite so pumped up in the right back slot, his half clearance found Barceñas who whacked the ball over the bar. Dani Hernandez stood firm when Folch got a clean shot at him, Oviedo still had a slim chance of making the promotion play offs and clearly weren´t along just for a day out.

With five minutes to half time, Tenerife had Oviedo pinned down and a clumsy tackle by Carlos Hernandez on Jorge Saenz was a clear penalty. Captain Suso left Champagne flat as he stroked the ball into the back of the net. The thermometer must have leapt a few more degrees as the fans bounced up and down as they sensed possible salvation. Tenerife hadn´t solved all their problems, the strikers were blunt again, Nano dug out a loose ball well and crossed to Malbasic but his poor control saw it squirm away. Nano fared no better when he tried to convert from a Malbasic lay off, it was Nano´s last touch as sub Montañes swapped places with him and had a foot in earning a corner. The set piece ball found Luis Milla out wide and he delivered one of his finest flighted crosses, Carlos Ruiz underlined his mastery in the air by meeting it with a glancing header that eluded the goalie to make it 2-0.

Nothing has been easy this season and it wasn´t about to change. An Oviedo cross from the right wing was brushed by the raised hand of Alberto, it ended up safe in Dani´s hands but the ref had signalled a penalty. Joselu converted the spot kick to crank up the tension for the final 14 minutes. Coach Sampedro brought on Isma Lopez to close down the midfield as Malbasic retired to the bench. Suso´s run on goal was blocked by a defender, his last brave contribution before giving way to striker Coniglio. Naranjo´s dithering on the ball may not have given him a clear chance at goal but it kept the ball at the right end as Tenerife fought to hold their lead. Montañes and Lopez both did sterling midfield work to stop any Oviedo breakaways, and an agonising four minutes of injury time slipped by with the vital win intact.

Relegation rivals may slip up and ease Tenerife across the safety line but they can´t afford to think like that. A difficult away game at direct rivals Lugo and a last clash at home to Zaragoza await, both without captain Suso. Two points would seal it but it would be nice to banish those nerves as soon as possible.

Blue Flags Flutter With Canarian Derby Pride

Everyone thinks their local derby is special but Canarian pride and passion takes some beating and it shone brightly as CD Tenerife fought back from a UD Las Palmas lead to send the Santa Cruz fans deliriously happy with a 2-1 home win.

There was more of an edge than ever with both sides fighting to avoid getting dragged into the relegation zone. A sea of blue and white greeted the teams but Las Palmas brought 1,500 across from Gran Canaria and turned a top corner of the stadium defiantly yellow. The visitors applied the early pressure and earned three quick corners, thankfully Dani Hernandez was in good form between the sticks to keep them at bay, especially from a Alvaro shot. Araujo was a menace on the left and the Tenerife were missing the calming authority of suspended centre back Jorge Saenz, but they warmed to their task and started to ask a few questions of their rivals. Alberto was doing a good job as Jorge´s replacement but Dos Santos alongside him was wild and unpredictable, his booking before the half hour didn´t help matters one bit. Pekhart had a clear chance for the yellows, Dani stood firm and blocked him but it was tense stuff. Deivid could have given Las Palmas a half time lead if his shot hadn´t have been so rushed and well wide. His team mates must have been concerned at the chances they wasted while Tenerife knew they could do better than in the first 45 minutes.

Malbasic powered through onto a Luis Milla long pass just after the restart, he shaped up for a shot as the ref blew for offside. Just six minutes into the half, coach Oltra brought 35 year old defender Carlos Ruiz on for Dos Santos, it was to be an inspired move. With six years service for Tenerife, Ruiz understood the importance of the derby match up and he produced a masterful performance. Las Palmas had their own wild card, Timor, he had already been booked for dangerous play and a second yellow saw him depart after 55 minutes. It seemed to make his fellow players dig deeper and they took the lead after Dani Hernandez parried a shot from Araujo that Cedres nipped in with a delicate tap.

Coach Oltra responded positively, he hooked off midfielder Undabarrena in favour of striker Naranjo and it prompted a wave of home pressure. Suso was another of the older brigade of home players who caught the mood and made good inroads into the yellow defence down the right. The breakthrough came when Suso and Milla combined to lay on a perfect set up for Carlos Ruiz to head into the back of the net to level the scores. Ruiz charged towards the Tenerife fans behind the goal and clutched proudly at the front of his shirt, there was no mistaking his pure joy. Las Palmas started to wilt, Tenerife had the confidence and spurred on by a huge roar from the blue and white fans, they went for the winner.

With just three minutes left, Suso worked his magic to put the ball across the goal where Naranjo ran in to place the ball past the goalie. What a finish to the game and what a party for the fans and players who have suffered all season. It was a memorable day for all concerned, the 18,760 crowd made it special with both sets of fans adding to the show piece game.There´s no room for complacency at either club, both still have to stave off the threat of relegation in the final five games. Tenerife are three points above the trap door, and Las Palmas just a further three points above. Reus may have gone bust a few months ago but they still complicate the picture as other relegation rivals have three points to come for an awarded game against the defunct team. It´s gonna be a nerve wracking finish, both Canarian teams need to beat the drop, the derby games belong in the highest division possible.

Clock Ticking On CD Tenerife Relegation Threat

Are they a good team having a few bad days or a bad team that´s had a few good days? The pendulum swung in favour of the latter for CD Tenerife after a shambolic 1-3 home loss to Almeria. The previous weeks first away win for over a year should have been all the encouragement they needed to keep the improvement going. Upcoming home derby and relegation rivals La s Palmas had lost and other results aided the cause. Even the sun was shining in Santa Cruz when the tourist south moaned about Easter clouds. The scene couldn´t have been set any better.


At least it took five minutes this week to leak the first goal. Rioja cut in from the left after beating Luis Perez, slipped a cross in front of goal and Gimenez managed to hook the ball into the net. That wasn´t in the script and any confidence the home side brought into the game evaporated. Coach Oltra´s negativity didn´t help, Racic was brought back after a suspension but he and the other creative midielder, Luis Milla, were played deep and at times were getting in each others way. Racic has only shown flashes of his January loan debut form, it has been widely reported that several big teams including an English Premier League outfit, are set to offer parent club Valencia big money to buy him in the summer. The lack of creative ideas starved the home forwards, and neither Nano or Malbasic looked inclined to fight to win the ball.

Almeria´s goalie hardly broke sweat to come out and take the ball off hesitant Nano when a half chance did arise. Juan Carlos Real was released by Tenerife at the end of last season and returned in new colours to torment his old team mates, he let them off the hook by putting a shot wide. At the other end Luis Milla had a penalty shout when fouled in the box, the ref wasn´t keen though. It was distressing to watch as Almeria threatened more punishment, Owona should have ended a good move with better than a shot over the bar. Dos Santos looked shaky at the back for Tenerife, he´s all arms and legs, a booking waiting to happen, the ref was glad to oblige. Racic managed a set up for Borja just before the break, he blasted it and the visiting goalie pushed it away.

Nano looks a spent force in his second spell with his home island club, he has neither power, speed, or drive, he got sight of the Almeria just into the second half and was easily dispossessed by Owona. Centre back Jorge Saenz felt a little muscle pull and was taken off in favor of Alberto, another player whose fire has gone out. It was all in vain as Almeria increased their lead. Dani parried a shot from Saveljich but the player shaped up to net the rebound, Dani pulled him back by his foot and a penalty was awarded. Gimenez despatched it and a collective groan shook the 10,385 crowd. A couple of minutes later Rioja had an easy finish as the home defence backed off, Albert even slipped up as he tried to block the shot. So an hour gone and 0-3 down some fans started to filter out of the stadium.

Naranjo had taken over from Borja and slipped into his comfy groove on the left, and another striker, Coniglio, tried to pep up the attack as Racic left the pitch to a mixed reception. Captain Suso was having a quiet game by his busy standards but his pride drove him to push his mature legs a bit more. A neat cross from the right by the skipper found Naranjo for a tap in to reduce the deficit with 10 minutes left. That goal raised Naranjo up to top scorer on five goals for the season, that tells its own story. There was not to be any miracle recovery, just the final whistle and the realisation that relegation is a bigger threat than ever. Tenerife are 15th just three places above the trap door, with seven games to go, and Alberto and Suso will miss the vital next game at Extremadura after bookings earned them a game suspension.