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.

The Pows Get My Vote For Rocking The Church

Luck triumphed over a lack of publicity when the nostalgic guitar sound of The Kinks classic “You Really Got Me” grabbed my ears as I wandered back from my Los Cristianos beach swim. A quick word with the lead singer gave me the joyous news that The Pows were warming up for a Friday night free performance on the steps of Los Cristianos church later in the evening.

I’ve been a long time fan of Pornosurf, who started out doing covers of The Ramones, and was keen to see The Pows who have evolved from the El Medano based rockers. Originally not a poster or banner could be seen to promote the evening gig but some publicity had appeared an hour later when I returned. It turned out to be a promotional night for the new Movimiento Del Pueblo party, ahead of the local council elections a week later. They were also raising awareness of the political crisis that is ripping Venezuela apart, strong ties exist between the Canaries and the South American country and it is often referred to as the 8th island due to decades of movement between the two continents. Pressing local needs were also being addressed through food collections for the El Fraile food bank, La Buena Estrella, and Caritas, the catholic charity that does so much good work. More advance publicity would have helped all those causes and attracted more than the small gathering of curious passers by as the first band Meneses kicked off the evening.

Meneses started with some quite obscure old rock in Spanish, good stuff though, and they mixed in some classics like Queen and The Police covers. The event was aimed at a mix of nationalities, the MDP leaflets were in Spanish and English, they are actively targeting the ex pat voters. A friend enlightened me, the Meneses singer,Arturo, performs at The Moonlight Bar in Fañabe on Wednesday afternoons, and has been known to play a double bass. There´s always at least one “extrovert” at outdoor free events, one chap seemed to have had a few rock and roll Woodbines and was knelt down singing to the speakers. The bars around the plaza were doing a brisk trade and young children were dancing with their parents.

After a break for political speeches, The Pows took to the stage area and launched into “Born To Be Wild” , that set the tone for some cracking tunes from across the decades.The five piece band were a bit squeezed into a corner to the side of the church and had minimal lighting, but the sound system was up to scratch and they knew how to bang out some infectious favourites. The two male guitarists and singer, were joined by a female drummer, and female percussionist as they dipped into the back catalogue of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and even some Jimi Hendrix. One of my stand out tracks was a rousing version of The Beach Boys oldie, Barbara Ann.

As the music sped along, more people began to stop off in the plaza, and the more mature fans showed a clean pair of heels to many of the younger dancers. There was no messing around or show boating from The Pows, they lived up to their name. One guitar chord would just be making its exit as they launched into another up beat delivery. The Pows held court for over an hour and had the new converts bopping to their every tune. A large percentage of those in the plaza were holiday makers, as a recruiting exercise for the MDP it must have had quiet a limited effect but it was another welcome use for the church plaza to go with the classical organ nights wafting out of the building, and the frequent skateboard competitions in the plaza.

The Pows are a very busy band, you should be able to catch them in the south of Tenerife , their Facebook page will point you in the right direction, and many of their gigs are free. It’s always great to see live music, and The Pows were real crowd pleasers.

Making Tracks In Guia De Isora

 

Improving or spoiling, it’s a very fine line when it comes to dealing with nature. The latest Tenerife coastal walk to get a makeover is the stretch linking Alcala to El Varadero in the west coast municipality of Guia de Isora. On my last visit, work was in progress but I returned on a scorching May day to see the finished project, and was delighted by the respectful balance that had been achieved.

There’s a lot going on up west, my Titsa bus journey reflected that, the 477 direct service from Los Cristianos veered up onto the modern by the ring road at Armeñime before heading back down at the new Fonsalia roundabout to back track to the edge of Playa San Juan and then taking the old coast road to my Los Gigantes destination. One of the longest drawn out updates for the island has been to build a new ferry port at the little hamlet of Fonsalia, the closest point between Tenerife and La Gomera. The new 477 route would help to take pressure off the coast road, if the port ever becomes a reality.

So it was with some trepidation, I later found myself at the El Varadero entrance to the coastal walk. First impressions were good, the sensitive two colour tone, and meandering progress of the new surface meant it didn´t intrude like Dorothy´s path to Oz. Little touches like the split level upright wooden slats, and hopefully vandal proof concrete rubbish bunkers, played their part. One of the eternal problems has been the arrival of vast numbers of illegal camper vans and their abandoned rubbish on big holiday weekends. Green chain fencing, and large irregular sized boulders should help to deter those intent on trying to park on the shingle shore.

The Punta Brava coast alongside the trail is notorious for its wild, unpredictable currents and waves that have claimed several lives over the years. This has made it attractive to surfers, a few bobbed up and down in the waves, a slight calima made the horizon a little hazy, normally you can see pleasure boats in the distance. It was noticeable that more people were using the walk, taking time out to enjoy the views, jog, or even cycle on the smooth surface.The new look makes it more accessible, there was always an uncertainty as to whether it was possible to get out of the El Varadero end. I was particularly pleased to see the partially collapsed walls of the old banana plantations left in their semi decayed state. They are an important reminder of the historic and economic past of Guia de Isora.

Ancient and modern interlock nicely just after the halfway point (about 30 minutes) when rounding a headland, the new La Jaquita beaches take over. They start with a series of natural rock lagoon which has metal ladders and small break waters to make it inviting to bathe in. There are also three pocket sized black sand beaches separated by rock breakers which give them a secluded feel. Although only open for a few years, the La Jaquita stretch has earned its Blue Flag for quality, and it flies proudly near the lifeguards look out towers. Add in disabled bathing and changing facilities and a couple of relaxed cafe bars, and it´s a very welcoming place to take a dip.

Development at this end has been spurred by the presence of the Palicio de Isora five star hotel resort, close to the fishing village of Alcala, which has no beach of its own. The expansive decking and sports courts outside the hotel and facing the sea are well used and popular with the younger locals from the village, and they lead you on nicely around the quayside and into the Alcala plaza. It´s a great place to relax and watch the world go by at a sedate pace. I enjoyed my dinner at El Veril, there´s a nice selection of food and drink stops around the plaza. There was even a balcony crammed with home made art animals to make me smile. Normally I would have then pushed on along the coast to Playa San Juan via Fonsalia, but had already packed plenty in for the day. The two ends of the coastal walk are served by regular Titsa buses, so whichever direction you stroll in, it´s easy to get back to Los Gigantes or in my case, back to Los Cristianos.

 

Jony Come Lately Sparks CD Marino Goal Glut

From sub to starter, CD Marino´s young striker Jony was thrust into a vitally important penultimate game of the regular season after Ahmed picked up a pre game knock. Slipping of late, the Playa de Las Americas hosts needed points to avoid being late arrivals at the relegation gate. Union Viera, from Gran Canaria, needed points to to rubber stamp a promotion play off spot. The stage was set and Jony shone like a star.

Viera won their way back into the Tercera Division a year ago and have had a great season but their early efforts were weak. Dani Herrera was easily seen off by blue shirted defender Brayan, Ramon was low on power and home keeper Brandon mopped up his shot, Choco did no better with a hopeful lob. Mendoza and Xiraxi also had chances in the first 10 minutes but found the Marino defence in good form.

Marino´s opener on the 11th minute showed that sharp finishing is better than a barrage of near misses, it was a triumph for their youth programme as Samuel crossed from the left and Jony jumped well to head the ball past the goalie to take the lead. That got Marino flowing, Prince was making things happen in midfield and forced a nervous second take from Alejandro in the visitors net. The keeper got in a right mess when he came out to defuse a Marino attack, he half saved and raced out to chase the ball and ended facing his own goal as Jony slipped his strike past a defender to bulge the net on the half hour. Marino looked the hungrier and more committed side against their strangely subdued rivals.

Viera were in tatters, Samuel fancied his chances and blasted the ball towards the target, Kevin Perez felt the sting as it struck his face, stopping a certain goal was at least a painful consulation, and both teams appreciated the water break it heralded. Refreshed, Viera tried to get back in the game, a quick break ended with the ball clearing the bar. Back came Marino, carving through the Viera ranks with Javi finishing the move with a tap in as the defence froze. Strangely, Viera didn´t make any changes for the second half opening, Mendoza got a sight of goal but Favarel was calm as he won the ball and played it out of danger. Elvis did a back clearance to Alejandro, the Viera keeper sliced the ball and was lucky that it landed just out of reach of Javi.

Finally 10 minutes after the restart, Viera brought on the nippy Segio and it sparked a reaction, it came from Choco who cut in from the right to pull a goal back. The respite didn´t last long, a wave of Marino players surged forward, the ball came to Prince and he evaded the goalie for a neat finish to make it 4-1. The visitors briefly recognised the importance of their task and showed some fight, Herrera hit a powerful shot that brought a decisive diving clearance from Brandon. Prince was having a right royal game, he won the ball and played it into the path of sub Djavan but it ran on a little too quickly. Sesma came on for Prince shortly after and set up Djavan with a smart pass, the young forward stumbled and Viera were able to recover in time.

Moussa was the final home sub, he added some extra strength to the attack as Marino pressed for a big finish. Everyone wanted to help Jony complete a hat trick but it wasn´t quite working. The two goal hero didn ´t let his personal target detract from the team, he continued to create openings down the right and laid the ball off to Sesma for a goal attempt. Jony then rounded Mario with a turn of speed but was frustrated when the goalie grabbed the ball. The fifth goal was a cool finish from Guti who took his time to curl the ball past Alejandro from outside the box. Marino wee good value for their big win and will hope the young players, and more consistency, will see the blues pushing for honours next season.

Santa Cruz Says It With Flowers Crosses And History

If I had been a bee, I would have been in a buzzing frenzy. Even so the fragrant flowers that made the mighty crosses in La Rambla gave my senses a real treat on May 3rd, the Day of the Cross, the celebration of the founding of Tenerife capital Santa Cruz in 1494. There was plenty to see as I hopped off the tram at La Paz, the first part of the wide central pedestrian walkway featured 18 crosses made from recycled materials by local schools and colleges.

It was a great way to teach a history lesson to the younger generation, many of the works were influenced by very modern characters from cartoons and computer games but the hard work put into the colourful creations was reflected in parental pride as they were snapped in front of their art. I’m sure Sir Henry Moore of Manchester would have approved of the joyful character just in front of his reclining sculpture, Warrior of Goslar. La Rambla is full of history, from the street art exhibition of 1974 to the paint peeling bull ring that has been abandoned for decades.

Onto the main event as the sun burst through on the stretch just in front of Parque Garcia Sanabria. The orange and green cross with its suspended orchids in glass baubles set the standard high and the quality was continued through all 16 offerings. Some residents in the flats at the side of the road had planted there own smaller works on their balconies, and the violet blooms from the avenue and parks trees complimented the show nicely. It all reached a crescendo with the biggest piece, boasting apples and blooms.

I took the chance to catch up with a few favourite places around the capital, and spotted a poster for another celebration. Almáciga on the north east corner of Tenerife had its own history to mark. The Virgen of Begoña refers to an event 70 years ago when a group of pilgrims travelling from Bilbao to Santiago del Compostella dropped a bottle in the ocean containing five small portraits of the Virgen of Begoña. It washed up in Almáciga and a shrine was set up to mark the event.

I was looking for omens of a more personal celebration as it was the day before the Canarian football derby between CD Tenerife and UD Las Palmas. The Chicharro statue in the heart of the shopping district looked confident and it seemed appropriate that it was surrounded by more vibrant flowers. It turned out to be a good pointer for a victory.

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.

SD Tenisca Climb The Ladder With Win At CD Marino

Greater need drove relegation haunted SD Tenisca to a 1-3 win at mid table CD Marino. The Tenerife hosts were left to regret not turning first half superiority into goals as the La Palma side tapped into their anger at refereeing decisions to drive a determined and deserved victory.

The action was switched from Marino´s normal home to the smaller Anexo Stadium across the road but a large contingent of Tenisca fans made their white shirted players feel at home. Marino favoured a series of long, deep balls in the early exchanges but they were often wild and were easily defended or ran on ahead of their chasing players. Ricardo floated in a well measured ball into the box for Tenisca and Maury chested it down well, Brandon in the home goal gathered it up safely. Tano also had a chance to spring an away lead, he robbed his marker but took the ball too wide to try a shot.

Tano thought he could do better with his next try, a run through the middle, this time Brandon made a fine save with his feet. Marino got sharper, Niky created an opening for Kevin Castro who couldn´t quite outwit the Tenisca defence. Mylan Carrasco powered down the left and screwed the ball back across the goal mouth but it beat his incoming team mates. It was a scorching early afternoon and the players were happy to take an unplanned water break as the ref had to get his in ear receiver repaired. Once back in communication with his linesmen, play was resumed.

A Tenisca corner was threatening until Brandon punched the ball away from danger. Tenisca were alert for quick breaks and were furious when the ref pulled back Maury for offisde as he raced towards the home goal. That could have been a turning point as Marino had their best spell for the final 15 minutes of the first half. Mylan curled in a dangerous shot that Pablo cleared well, Javi clawed back a ball that was heading out of play, and got a shot in that Pablo responded well to. Djavan was ready to test the keeper but Cardenas closed him down well and made him put the ball out of play. As the goal less half ended, the simmering discontent on the Tenisca bench boiled over into angry exchanges with the ref, he responded by sending off the coach Oscar Valle and the back up goalie Jesus.

The second half opened with Jony replacing Mylan for the home side, and coach Valle popping up on the dressing rooms roof to shout instructions to his players. The players responded well, within a minute Rivas had latched on to a neat pass from Sota and buried the ball in the bottom corner of the home net. Kevin Castro and Tenisca captain Jordan were testing each other with a series of close challenges as the away team grew in confidence. Sota went on a good raid for the whites, Brandon came out to meet him but mistimed it and the shot beat him and doubled the visitors lead. Home sub Samuel looked lively, his good build up couldn´t reduce the arrears as he blasted over the bar.

Kevin Castro was pushing forward more, he looked shielded from a shot on goal but struck his shot sweetly to put Marino back in with a chance after 73 minutes. Bamba got a strike in soon after, he drilled it hard and low, Pablo was down quickly for a safe take. The three points were vital to Tenisca and they were determined not to let the win slip away. Maury hit a soft shot straight at Brandon with five minutes left. It was close to the final whistle when a Marino back pass from Jony left Brandon stranded and the ball trickled slowly past him as his coach started dancing on the roof. Samuel chipped a shot over the Tenisca goal in injury time but the points were secure and the players celebrated with their travelling fans. The remaining three Tercera Division games will offer 18th placed Tenisca a chance to complete their escape from the drop, while 12th placed Marino have no such worries.

Pull Up A Bench And A Smile In Los Cristianos

It´s not a sin to smile, and it can be quite infectious. So give a cheer for the Urban Art project from Arona Ayuntamiento (council) that has sponsored 59 reasons to be cheerful in Los Cristianos. You may have spotted the team of artists busy colouring up the benches on the old beach promenade and in Avenida de Suecia at the upper level of the old town. Now the works are complete, and completely lovely.

Artists from across the south have turned their ideas into mutli coloured murals depicting aspects of Canarian life, environmental pride, and downright cute illustrations to put a spring in your daily step. One of the biggest contributors is the Pintores del Llano based in San Miguel, but the works have attracted artists of many ages and several nationalities.

As someone who nearly reduced his school art teacher to a quivering wreck, and would still struggle to draw a conclusion, I have great admiration for those who are talented with the pencil and the brush. Watching the works evolve over the last few weeks has been fascinating and they have attracted a lot of admiring glances from passers by.

Los Cristianos is something of a trail blazing canvas for street art. The harbour wall, the tunnel archway between the two beaches, and the steps behind the church, have all benefited from artistic intervention to turn the daily drab into a brush with brilliance. Of course they are still popular places to sit and watch the world go by, and what wonderfully romantic reference points for a blind date.

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.