Archive for the 'Football' Category
Everything But The Win For CD Tenerife

With a 0-1 lead at Cordoba from a first Naranjo goal, a penalty save, and a steady recovery after Luis Perez was sent off, CD Tenerife thought things were looking up. Then in injury time the roof fell in as a 25 metre pile driver made it 1-1 to leave the visitors still looking for their first win. Coach Jose Luis Oltra, back in charge 10 years after weaving his promotion magic, must have thought his bold tactical revamp had reaped its reward but now he knows he can´t rely on any help from Lady Luck.

Oltra rung the changes and started with a very fluid defence, Aveldano replaced Carlos Ruiz, and defender Luis Perez played further up with Jorge covering across as a part time right back, a role he performed with some style. Alberto didn´t cope as well with his deep midfield role and extra responsibility to fill in the centre of the defence. The forwards got some early encouragement with Naranjo forcing a corner, and Nano setting up Acosta before the goalie gathered the ball. Jaime Romero was the danger man for Cordoba, but wasted a free shot after 10 minutes. Tenerife produced their first half chance when Nano slipped a pass to Bryan Acosta before the goalie raced out to claim it. There was an air of desperation about Cordoba, sharing the relegation zone with Tenerife, and there was no romantic intent when Quintavilla gripped Naranjo´s hand, it was just to pull him back when he looked like setting off on a goal bound dash.

Quezada tried to grab Perez and having failed, dropped to the floor clutching his face, it earned him a free kick and a booking for the Tenerife player. The kick was heading for the visitors goal but Dani Hernandez was decisive and punched the ball clear. It was a sultry night more suited to Tenerife, a water break on the half hour quenched a few thirsts, Jaime was still hungry for a goal and tested Dani with a dipping cross that the keeper handled well. It signalled a mini siege from Cordoba, Alberto half cleared with his head, and Dani turned aside another Jaime effort. Tenerife had the last word for the first half, Naranjo was flattened by Bambock and hit a long shot free kick that took a deflection before hitting the back of the net for a half time lead. After the break,the home goalie was fortunate to get a second grab at the ball from an Acosta shot as Nano ran in for a possible follow up. The keeper did better when running across his goal mouth to thwart Acosta with a fine one handed save.

Tenerife suffered a big blow after 60 minutes when a loose Perez tackle got him a second booking and a sending off, Raul Camara came on for Nano to shore up the defence and Cordoba sensed hope for them. Aveldaño blocked Jaime well at the post, and Dani made a great feet and body save from sub Jovanovic. Hector replaced Camille, it would have been nice to see some width introduced through maybe Suso but it was understandable that Oltra wanted to hold on to the win. Alfaro had joined the Cordoba attack from the bench, a former big star in Oltra´s golden season with Tenerife, his soft shot showed that the years had caught up with him. Acosta spurned an easy chance to make it 0-2, Naranjo made the run and fed him the ball but his hesitation allowed a defender to get an intercepting foot in.

Just six minutes remained when Jorge pushed a Cordoba player over in the box and Jaime stepped up to take the penalty. Dani judged it magnificently and saved with his feet. Still in front and still believing, Tenerife were in injury time when a screaming free kick from Aquado pole axed them, Dani had no chance of stopping it. Alfaro could have made things worse when he broke free but Dani was quick to scoop up the ball. Even the final seconds of the game betrayed Tenerife, a Cordoba defender body charged Alberto to the floor in the box but the ref was unmoved and blew the final whistle.

Goals Go Missing In Latest CD Marino Draw

Delayed by their inter island flight, Las Palmas C should have been there for the taking by hosts CD Marino, but neither side really took off in the forward areas and a 0-0 draw was always on the cards. The Gran Canaria side showed no ill effects of their rushed warm up and produced the best of the early exchanges. Home goalie David had to smother an early shot from Pipo, the liveliest of the Las Palmas strikers. Yeremi set up Adrian in front of the home goal mouth but Favarel blocked him well. A free kick from Stefane sailed high over the Marino goal as the blues struggled to make an impact with long hopeful balls.

Marino came more into the game when they used Javi Gonzalez on the left and Fayez on the right flank, the Las Palmas defenders found them hard to deal with. The final touch was lacking though, Yassine and Gaizka weren’t having the best of games and Ramirez in goal had few threats to deal with. On the half hour, Fayez put a perfect ball to the feet of Yassine but his shot was poor. Javi Gonzalez was causing plenty of problems for Las Palmas, and tried his luck with a curling shot that flew wide. This was Marino’s best spell of the game, Israel under 19 player Fayez came close with a strong header, and followed up soon after with a strike that deflected away off Anthony. Marino should have turned their advantage into goals, Connor rounded Pipo to feed Ammed whose shot missed the target. Las Palmas were relieved to go in at the break on even terms.

Changes were needed, Marino restarted with Sesma arriving from the bench to patrol the right side, giving Ammed the chance to play a more central role. Javi nearly made the breakthrough with a speedy break that ended in a Sesma header wide. A low shot from Guti could have caught the Las Palmas goalie out but he was alert and claimed the ball. Marino will wonder how they let the visitors off the hook, Sesma turned his marker but shot the wrong side of the woodwork, and Stefane made a timely tackle on Yassine when he headed for goal. At the other end, Favarel hooked the ball clear of danger when the yellows put together a break down the middle, and Omar spurned a chance by heading wide.


The easiest chance for Marino came with a free kick inside the penalty area, there was much discussion among the Marino players grouped around the ball but the kick was straight at the defensive wall. Going into the last five minutes, Ammed and Juan clashed when jumping for a 50-50 high ball. The ref over reacted by giving Ammed a second booking and a sending off to leave Marino with ten men. Las Palmas couldn´t believe their luck and launched a late offensive, David made an outstanding double save, and Fuentes skewed his shot away from the goal. The last shot of the game fell to Sesma and was easily dealt with by the goalie. Neither side could complain about the draw as they had made enough openings to have taken the three points.

 

Final Third Failure Means Sack For CD Tenerife Coach

Nano and Naranjo sound like a firm of accountants but the strikers have failed to bring any net gains to CD Tenerife this season. The lowest point so far came with a 0-1 home defeat to lowly Reus, bringing the new league season form to 3 draws and 2 losses, plus a 1-2 home defeat to Cadiz in the Copa del Rey. As other results put Tenerife in the drop zone, the club acted quickly to sack coach Joseba Etxeberria and appoint Jose Luis Oltra who took Tenerife into La Liga in the 2008-2009 season.

Inevitably fingers were pointed at coach Joseba Exteberria but he did all the right things this game, starting with Undaberrena in midfield and Hector Hernandez at left back after their impressive debut showings in the midweek cup defeat. The starting line up also included the clubs best players, Luis Milla and Bryan Acosta in midfield. Tenerife looked bright in the first half, a Suso cross was helped on by Naranjo but Malbasic was slow to react and the chance had gone.

Veteran Suso has been putting the younger players to shame and continued with a couple of early raids, including a defence splitting diagonal ball to Naranjo that the goal shy striker lost to a defender. An old nemesis came back to tease Tenerife, Edgar Badia in the Reus goal had proved himself before to be a mix of inspiration and irritation, he inspired his team mates with some great saves and irritated Tenerife with his constant gamesmanship and delaying tactics. After Malbasic had headed a chance at the keeper, Acosta hit a fierce shot that Edgar tipped over. At the other end Dani Hernandez had only one first half chore, taking a routine shot from Reus player Borja Herrera.

One of the best home moves came on the half hour, Undaberrena fed Acosta who brought another splendid save from Edgar. Luis Milla got a slice of the action with a goal bound strike that was headed clear, it all looked very hopeful at the half time break. Time was Tenerife´s enemy, a win was vital and Reus were happy to sit back and frustrate as the second half got underway. Another Acosta effort was easily dealt with by Edgar and a rare Reus attack ended with a header off a post. Naranjo was useless, no supportive runs, no holding up the ball, and no clear attempts on goal, no wonder he was off after 55 minutes, could his replacement Nano find his first goal? The La Laguna born strikers first touch of the ball was easily blocked by Edgar.

Milla went close with a low drilled shot, an Acosta corner missed defenders and attackers alike and the frustration of the 9,532 crowd was growing. Next swap was Montañes for Undaberrena, that should have given Tenerife more width down the left but it didn´t really work. It was all happening on the other flank, where Suso was busting a gut to prise open the Reus defence, Villanueva fouled him in the box but the ref wasn´t interested in giving a penalty. Tenerife had to push forward and Reus fancied their chances on the break, Ortiz pounced on a loose ball and headed towards the Tenerife goal, a pass to Alfredo left him facing Luis Perez and Dani Hernandez at the post. With the help of a rebound, Alfredo forced the ball in the goal as Dani hesitated.

Just 10 minutes remained to salvage the game, forward Borja Llarena came on for defender Jorge for the final push but Reus dug in. Edgar used every trick in his power to waste time and Tenerife didn´t have the cutting edge to break through. Four minutes of injury time didn´t help, Nano´s only real contribution of the afternoon was a last minute low shot straight at goalie Edgar. There were some whistles from the crowd at the end, a sign that the tide was turning against the coach and some players. No new players can be brought in until the January transfer window, that left the coach as the easy option for change but Nano and Naranjo were both long term targets for sporting director Serrano, maybe he should take some of the flack. That first win of the season is like a long overdue train, away to another of the new boss´s old teams, Cordoba on Saturday 22nd September,it wouldn´t be a moment too soon.

 

 

All Whimper And No Wham

Long suffering fans are all too familiar with sudden nose dives in form from CD Tenerife but a 0-0 home draw with relegation haunted Almeria really put the boot in. At least it wasn´t a fourth straight defeat, and the defence stopped leaking goals but it was a depressing, soul less performance that smacked of end of term come early.

Another poor quality ref didn´t help the cause but Tenerife showed little hunger for a win, and had Dani Hernandez to thank for a superb double save in the final minute to save a point. Casadesus headed over from a Luis Perez cross after 10 minutes but it was all down hill from there on. The side pretty much picks itself these days due to the long term injury problems, the forward line was paper thin, midfield was quiet and lacking in ideas, the only attacking flair came from adventurous runs from full backs Luis Perez and fit again Camille. Suso had a couple of early spurts that lacked sharp finishes and Alberto looked strangely tame in the tackle. Almeria goalie Rene had an easy afternoon, his defence exposed him with a poor clearance late in the first half and Carlos Ruiz crashed the ball into his net only to receive a borderline offside call. Luis Milla had a shot deflected wide, and there was a hopeful penalty claim for a sliding defensive tackle on Camille where the ball hit the tacklers hand. These were just brief islands in a sea of boredom, it surely had to get better – didn´t it?

Almeria desperately needed something from the game to stay just above the trap door, and they had a go at the start of the second half. Marreh had a slow shot covered by Dani and Fidel smashed his attempt high over the bar. Malbasic swapped with Alberto to try to stir Tenerife, he tried to squeeze in a shot along the ground but wasn´t quick enough. The big striker did better with his build up for another shot but was fouled by Trujillo, a much stronger case for a penalty but not enough to budge the ref.

The arrival of Paco Montañes for Alex Mula hardly caused any ripples, he went through the motions, well he wasn´t the only one. Big bruising forward Nano was Almeria´s best hope, he tested Dani a couple more times but the home keeper was on his best form. Juan Carlos got a run out for Suso with just over ten minutes left, he managed a weak shot before blending in with his team mates. Bryan Acosta had already picked up one booking when he made took the feet of Pozo and upgraded to a sending off. The 11,378 crowd were praying for the final whistle to end their suffering as Nano burst through and shot at Dani from close range. The keeper got a touch to it on one side of him and twisted back to stop the rebound on the other side.

Tenerife are now 11th and 7 points from the promotion play off spots with four games to go, but hope has run screaming up the street and there´s a slight edge of desparation creeping in as the season grinds to a halt. On Saturday it´s away to Reus Deportivo at 7.30pm, with Acosta suspended.

This is my weekly report on CD Tenerife from Canarian Weekly, you can see my full sport round up weekly in the newspaper.

Young Pup Alex Shows His Pedigree

When Alex Mula asked his girlfriend to postpone their wedding for the slim hope of a promotion play off extension to his CD Tenerife season, he was probably in the dog house for a few days. Two quality goals in a 3-1 home win over Real Oviedo backed his confidence and smoothed the romantic path.

The 21 year player, on loan from Malaga, would normally get star billing for his display but it was another pleasing team effort that made it three straight victories. The play offs are still a tall order but regardless of the destination, the journey is enchanting the fans, 14,600 people turned up for the Friday night game. Let´s not forget the little matter of more absentees through injury, including Juan Villar who was on a hot scoring streak. Bryan Acosta took on the main supply role for top scorer Longo, with Suso, Luis Milla, and Alberto giving steady support.

It was the Tenerife defence that shone in the early exchanges, Camille´s return to the left back slot added stability, and Luis Perez was outstanding at right back. Former Tenerife player Aaron tried to deceive Dani Hernandez with a low free kick to the near post but the keeper was all over it. Mossa had his eyes on the home goal, twice Perez robbed him of the ball with ease. Just 18 minutes into the game a long ball from Carlos Ruiz was chested under control by a leaping Longo who turned to dispatch the ball into the net in one flowing movement.

Acosta was making his prescence felt, a quick break was cut out by Herrero in the Oviedo goal. A high tempo and work rate has lifted Tenerife´s performances to a new level. Turning defence into attack is a feature of the rejuvinated team, Carlos Ruiz, an inspiration at 34 years old, outjumped Oviedo players and prompted several good forward raids. The second goal was another cracker, Longo got bundled off a high ball that dropped loose, Alex Mula pounced on it and had the vision and skill to launch a long range rocket past the goalie.

The second half opened with Oviedo trying to up their game, they managed to hit the post before Tenerife took charge again. Acosta should have got the third goal but took the ball wide and blasted it into the side netting. Longo and Acosta were building a nice understanding, the Italian won the ball off Verdes and set up Honduran Acosta who shot wide again. Acosta turned provider with a gentle pass for Alberto, he got his boot too far undr the ball and blasted it over the bar. Oviedo are trying to hold onto a play off place and caught Tenerife out with a Saul breakaway that finished with a glancing header by Forlin into the home goal.

Tenerife responded positively with more attacking play, Aitor Sanz, a sub for Suso, played a more adventurous role than usual, and with Alex turning on the speed on the left, the chances kept coming. After 72 minutes another Acosta break tore Oviedo open, a square ball to Alex took out the defence, and the youngster buried the ball in the net. There was a brief danger as Oviedo found a way through but a strong kick away from Dani cleared the threat. It was good to see Juan Carlos Real get a five minute run out as Alex departed to loud applause. The sub hasn´t had a look in for a few weeks but had a half chance blocked after good work from Longo.

The win didn´t bring a big jump up the table, still 12th, but Tenerife reduced the points gap on the top six to just four points. The only negatives from the win were bookings for Ruiz and Alberto that mean they are suspended for Sundays game at Numancia. Tenerife hopes of getting extra dates in the play offs are alive and kicking, as for Alex Mula, he has a new special date of 2nd July for his wedding.

This report was originally published in Canarian Weekly , you can read all my sports coverage in the free newspaper. I will try to add the reports to this blog from here on, they will be just over a week after the games, and a few days after the paper hits the streets. For more CDT info, check out www.armadasur.com

 

 

 

Future Stars Shine In La Liga Promises

Footballers come in all shapes and sizes, so write off the short, skinny, or clumsy at your peril. The under 12 players in the La Liga Promises tournament in Playa de Las Americas showed that a passion for football mixed with dedication and belief can create the next generation of star players. Over three days the 15 teams served up a glorious showcase of international starlets at the Antonio Dominguez stadium.

A half size pitch surrounded by extra seating, television gantries, and giant video screen was beamed out to TV audiences as seven a side teams battled it out, begining with 12 minutes each way games in the group stages. Big clubs like Real Madrid, Juventus, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris St German were expected to do well but there are always surprise teams and players. Jef Utd from Japan exploded onto the scene with their tiny captain hitting a goal of skill and control against Inter Milan. They couldn´t sustain that form and lost that match 2-1 and didn´t make the knock out stage but won lots of admirers. Roma player Cristian Totti, son of Italian legend Francisco, caught the eye, and Valencia twins Vicent (goalie) and Marc Abril (midfield) were looking to create their own family joy.

The quarter finals produced some tight games, Barcelona beat Juventus 1-0, Valencia beat Dortmund and Espanyol beat Real Madrid both by a solitary goal. The drama came after a 0-0 draw between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, it took a penalty shoot out to send Atletico through. At the semi final stage games increased to 20 minutes each way, Valencia saw off Espanyol by 1-0 and a thrilling 2-2 draw was settled on penalties as high scoring Barcelona put out Atletico Madrid.

The stage was set for the decider and thousands packed the stadium, CD Tenerife were first up to play Inter Milan in the Consolation Final, a combination of the Bloko Del Valle drum troop, a large contingent of noisy CD Tenerife fans, and their mascot Elio Doro the elephant, created a real party mood. Two quick goals caught Tenerife cold but they fought hard to reduce the arrears to 2-1 before Milan netted a third before half time. The second half was shaded by Tenerife but they couldn´t finish off the many chances they made against their more physical opposition and they lost 3-1. As a CD Tenerife fan it gladdened my heart to see so the future of my club in such good hands.

Barcelona and Valencia had been full of goals during the tournament but it was a cagey, technical main final with plenty of neat passing but few clear chances. Andres squandered two first half openings for Valencia as he skied his shots high over the bar. That was to come back to haunt them at the start of the second half, Amadou broke on the left and crossed to Hernandez who claimed the goal for Barcelona. There was no way back for Valencia, Barcelona were stroking the ball around and Cristo was unlucky not to add to his five goals in previous games, he still got the top scorer and MVP awards for the tournament.

The Barcelona players almost skipped up the steps to collect their medals and the trophy, and then spilled back onto the pitch to celebrate with coach David Sanchez. Valencia´s Tony Lopez got the coach of the tournament award, it was little consolation but his staff and players were quick to  congratulate the winners.

No Comfort Or Joy In CD Tenerife´s Bleak Midwinter

Maybe the jugernaut seven game winning streak of Cadiz was stopped but CD Tenerife were drab and ordinary in their 1-1 home draw against Cadiz. Coach Pep Marti owes a big present to Camille, Casadesus, and Juan Villar for saving his job with a last minute leveller in Santa Cruz.

Ideas were thin on the ground and players looked like they would rather be anywhere other than on the Heliodoro pitch. Changes were again forced on the coach, suspended Acosta and injured Carlos Ruiz meant recalls for Vitolo in midfield and Alberto in the centre of defence. Cadiz oozed confidence, Barral was running free up front and Olivan threatened with a cross into the box that Alberto had to blast clear. Casadesus tested Cifuentes from the edge of the box with a dipping shot that the keeper turned aside.

Carlos Abad had held his place in goal but looked shakey as he missed two chances to cut out the visitors 9th minute opening goal, Alberto dived ahead of him to head the ball partly clear but it fell to Garrido who lobbed it over the back peddaling Carlos. Salvi nearly doubled the lead after shrugging off Camille but he put his shot in the side netting. Cadiz were solid at the back, passed well, and had willing runners to spread the play. Tenerife were nervous and couldn´t string passes together, Suso, Aitor, and Vitolo were a midfield mess and Longo was left looking for service.

The second half opened with Tenerife still looking second best, Malbasic came on for Tayron and was slow and clumsy. Cadiz were happy to just pick off stray passes and pin down the home full backs Camille and Camara to cut out any wide creative play. Longo beat two markers and tried to squeeze a shot in at the post but the angle was too tight. Casadesus took the ball wide but ran out of pitch before popping a shot over the bar from a Malbasic pass. These were brief respites, home players were not moving or calling for each other and too often a back pass was prefered to a more adventurous forward invite.

Juan Carlos Real replaced Vitolo and Juan Villar was a welcome addition for Suso, the injury prone striker has a more direct approach and likes to take players on. Malbasic on the left was a waste of space, he beat two defenders and then tripped over his own feet, and with clear space he ran into defender Carpio. Carlos showed better form with a diving save from Cruz after Garcia had cut the ball back from the byline. It was frustrating to watch for the 10,864 crowd, unforced schoolboy errors littered the home play and inspiration was badly needed.

Camille was the unlikely spark, pushing forward he won the ball and picked out a great cross into the goal mouth, Csadesus flicked it on, and Juan Villar headed it in by the far post. With three minutes of added time there was suddenly some urgency but Cadiz held firm. Former Tenerife coach Alvaro Cervera was clearky annoyed to let the win slip away and Pep Marti looked like a freshly liberated turkey. 2018 begins with two away games, a transfer window, and hopefully a fully fit squad so anything is possible, but big changes are needed.

A Feast Of Blue And White

 

What a stirring tune the CD Tenerife anthem is, and Tenerife Adelante was blaring out as we entered the blue and white wonderland of a dining hall for the clubs pre christmas meal for the peñas (fan clubs) including the Armada Sur.

Our small but select band of ambassadors for the Armada Sur arrived at the Parque Maritimo pool complex in Santa Cruz for 8pm, only to find out it was a 9.30pm start. The solution was easy, we adjourned to a nearby bar, Voque Bar, rather posh but we soon lowered the tone. Suitably refreshed we headed back to the venue, I had been to the pools before to do a review, that time it was a hot afternoon and the pools were splashing. We were guided to the outside terrace of one of the big function halls, waiters circulated with drinks and aperatifs of ham and cheese croquettes, sweet nibbles of lemon and honey, and other tempting treats.

TV cameras were in attendance so naturally we burst into a rousing chorus of the Armada Sur song to the Hawaii Five O theme. The players were away on the mainland having played Espanyol with Almeria to come in two days, but captain Suso was in attendance as he was injured. Entering the hall was a visual feast, all the tables had been set out with peña name plates, a Mahou beer hat, and a CD Tenerife scarf. Side tables groaned with Tete themed cakes and there was a buzz of anticipation. Any thoughts of it being a slightly stuffy, formal night were soon blown away as terrace songs started breaking out across the tables. We were sharing with the Cesar Gomez peña, mature ladies but they were party animals.

Club President Miguel Concepcion was in relaxed mood and very much the genial host, I was quite taken with the waitresses black outfits, they made me think of the Robert Palmer video Addicted To Love. The background music was a strange mix of 80´s pop songs like Careless Whisper but there was no whispering as the noise level rose as the beer and wine flowed from the free bar. Then the food started to arrive, an intro of carrot soup would hopefully help my aged eyesight, and I had pre ordered the hake in the hope that fish might improve my befuddled brain. It was love at first bite and the service was very impressive with a full hall to cater for.

No sooner had we finished the caramel and chocolate sweet when the stage was taken over by a magic act, maybe the next coach in waiting? I was hoping he could make Las Palmas dissapear but settled for balloons and fire. All our tickets were numbered and a long, prize packed raffle followed, interspersed with more singing and chanting. It was a fabulous night, big thanks and respect to the club for arranging it, and the staff for carrying it out with such efficiency and good humour. It was all far removed from the rock hard rolls and alcohol free beer that are sold at the Heliodoro stadium.

Plugged In And Charged Up For Cup Sizzler

 

Mobile phones twinkled like stars around the darkened stadium, but after a half hour delay for power failiure, the players of CD Tenerife and Espanyol came out to light up the pitch with a scintillating 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Kings Cup clash. Both teams produced good football, the two goalies were immaculate to deny all that was thrown at them, blimey, even the referee had a good game!

La Liga side Espanyol had a wealth of top flight and European competition to call on but Tenerife had the hunger and some outstanding performances from their young defenders. Espanyol opened strongly with Sergio Garcia and Didac sharpening their claws but 21 year old Tenerife B team product Nahuel made the left back slot his own from his first touch, and on the right Luis Perez, just a year older, was also solid and stubborn. In the centre Avedaño supplied the older head but Spain under 21 player Jorge Saenz was in command with a mature and dominant display. Big things have been expected of 22 year old Carlos Abad, this was the night the Puerto de la Cruz born goalie showed he has the skills to push long term first choice Dani Hernnandez aside.

Brian Martin hit a strong early chance at old master Diego Lopez in the visitors goal, the first of many shots that seemed to home in on the keeper but great awareness and positioning help goalies to make it look easy. Bryan Acosta was a powerful creative force in the home midfield and Malbasic was full of running to seek the killer ball. The Serbian striker popped up with a clever overhead kick at the far post only to see Diego Lopez push the ball aside. Bryan Acosta hassled and won the ball before unleashing a shot just before half time, that man Lopez was all over it like a rash. Carlos Abad matched him at the other end to deny Granero, and 13,925 fans were left longing for the second half.

Juan Carlos replaced Aitor Sanz for the second half and the game was soon back to its frantic pace. Brian Martin cut in from the right but needed a bit more surprise in his shot to beat Lopez. Melendo came on for Espanyol and was a mix of sharp tackles and nifty moves, his curled shot gave Carlos another chance to shine. Casadesus took over from Brain Martin, the home grown striker needs to sharpen up but at 21 he has already come a long way this season. And will be back for more. Malbasic powered his way down the left but his cross was a bit wayward, Acosta´s balls in were much more clinical and caused chaos behind the visitors rear guard.

Longo returned to action after a month out injured as Malbasic went off to rapturous applause, the Italian striker was a little rusty but Casadesus had plenty of fire and rose for a fine long header that Lopez took cleanly. At the other end Carlos pulled off two class saves in succession, it seemed a draw was pre ordained. Acosta had the final effort but it went like a magnet to Lopez. There was just two minutes of injury time, although all the fans yearned for more. The away leg in four weeks time will be tougher, with Tenerife again the underdogs, but few will forget the home night that started like a pop concert and ended with the support act stealing the show.

 

 

Short On Goals But Long On Hope

Goals, oh yes I remember them. Sadly they have been hard to come by in CD Tenerife´s pre season friendly programme, a mix of unexpected departures, late arrivals, and even a few injuries, but we always seem to fill the last squad places to the last moments of the August transfer window. A 2-0 away leg loss to Las Palmas in the Copa Mahou saw only one CDT shot in the second half and was followed by a 0-3 defeat to Deportivo La Coruña at La Orotava.

The trip to pleasantly cooler La Orotava was smooth, with a car load of Armada Sur meeting up with a large contingent of Frente Blanquiazul in the plaza of the San Agustin shopping centre. Local police were twitchy about a few social beers being consumed as the Armada Sur tucked into a few bottles at Sinatra´s Bar. I kept thinking of the Sid Vicious version of My Way as we quaffed our pre match Dorada´s. The Los Cuartos ground is a magnificant setting with the pine trees marching up the spreading hills beyond, the three female match officials quickly conducted pre match formalities before starting the game.

Juan Villar and Victor Casadesus were missing with injuries so Brian Martin and Juan Carlos Real led the attack. Deportivo have a strong squad under former Tenerife manager Pepe Mel and our defence did well to hold them off for 26 minutes before Andone found the net with a header. It was hard for Tenerife to establish any order, our players have had to adopt to strange positions and new partners so quickly. Cartabia finished off another well worked Deportivo attack after 34 minutes and the game was already over.

A whole raft of half time changes kept everyone guessing, especially with different numbers in the large and young Tenerife squad again. Suso remained a constant throughout the match and had the best scoring chance, a bad offside call did little to enhance his view of female referees. Crunch time is fast approaching, some of the B team players will surely at least get on the bench for the August league games before the last new faces arrive. Raul Camara was rested for the evening with a view to his suspension for the opening league game. The 3,000 crowd learnt more about Deportivo than their home favourites, Borges completed the scoring after 58 minutes and Deportivo got their hands on the selection of trophies that go with the Teide Trophy title.

There´s always a nice relaxed atmosphere around the La Orotava game and as always the crowd were allowed to flood onto the pitch at the final whistle to take pics and pose for autographs. With the grounds snack bar rapidly running out of stock, I made liberal use of the free Markomilk bars being handed out by the match sponsor. The friendlies have at least given our players some match fitness but we are going to be playing catch up as usual when, hopefully, our extra four players slip in before the transfer window slams shut.