Archive for May, 2011
Nino, Another Goal As The Legend Says Goodbye

Was it goodbye or good riddance, in most cases the latter as CD Tenerife faced Ponferradina in the last home game of the relegation season. Another spectacular balls up on the management side meant a 5pm kick off on Champions League final night, all other teams were playing on Sunday, CDT didn’t object and a paltry 5,960 saw a poor 1-1 draw.

The game was secondary to Nino’s final home appearance before moving to another team, the little striker is a legend at the club partly for his goals but also for his work rate and commitment to the cause. A presentation before the game and banners thanking him for all his efforts set the scene, could he make it complete by scoring? It took just 15 minutes to answer that question, Mikel Alonso won the ball and set Nino away, he went wide and slipped a perfect shot past the visiting goalie and was greeted by a wave of heartfelt chants from the crowd.

Kitoko started in the centre of defence and did a good job of mopping up the Ponferradina attacks especially after 20 minutes when Sergio Aragoneses blocked a shot and Kitoko headed clear. The Tenerife goalie was also singled out for praise from the crowd, it remains to be seen if the club can hold onto him. Omar and Sicilia had chances on the same attack but couldn’t finish and Nino had another close call with a header on half time.

The second half saw a rise in volume to sing the praises of Nino, some of the seasons villains were also identified as a banner appeared accusing Ricardo and Bertran “they say the rats were first to abandon the ship” referring to the swiftness shown by both players to find a new club after both having woeful seasons for CDT. For 20 minutes Tenerife had a man advantage after Prieto was sent off with a second yellow card after a clash with Bellvis. It didn’t really work in Tenerife’s favour and was wiped out after 65 minutes when Bellvis (below) picked up a second yellow and also went off.

One of the best moves of a generally poor game came from German who put in a superb cross field pass to Omar but he was unable to convert it into a goal and was subbed just after to give Josmar a run out. The young Venezuelan again showed his promise and skill with a mazy dribble that took out 3 markers before a shot on goal. Acoran beat an impulsive clearance attempt by Sergio with a few minutes left to level the scores but the biggest cheers of the night came when Nino was taken off so he could receive the applause that he richly deserved, 17 goals again this season and maybe more to come in the Las Palmas derby away next week. It’s the end of an era, we hope that next season will bring new heroes and new triumphs but whatever happens Nino’s place in our hearts is secure.

Vilaflor, There’s No Hiding The Beauty Of Tenerife’s Pine Country

What a nice morning greeting In Vilaflor, the statue of Hermano Pedro gazing across the quiet entry junction and a cockerel crowing his little voice box out in the distance. Driving up from Los Cristianos the temperature had dropped about 6 degrees and the air was cool, perfect for walking. It’s about time I got my lazy bones moving and sampled the walking trails again so I had met up with one of the regular Saturday morning groups armed with a back pack of smelly sarnies, bottled water, and my camera.

There were 8 and a half of us (including Ellie the dog) and we learnt a lesson from a previous trip out this way, this time parking low down where the TF-21 heads into Vilaflor and then walking uphill to the start point just above the village. That meant although we started with a tough uphill hike it wouldn’t be waiting to punish us later on.

The tajinaste plants were firing up nicely, the red colouring seeping up the tall stalks ready to devour the green tips resisting the advance of summer. All was very quiet and calm despite being a popular tourism area and just a few young voices rose from the football ground as we headed past and onto the opening of the trail. Moving up along the uneven path the pine trees soon rolled out below but the view was slightly obscured by the low cloud. On the plus side the air was cool and fresh, very welcome given the steepness of the rise. It didn’t take us long to stray from the path over a small assault course of rocks but the sight of the old iron water pipe up above drew us back to the main route.

Taking the tight meandering path we soon found ourselves at a large clearing near a rocky ledge peering down into a valley of pine trees. The wisps of cloud hanging in the air softened the impact of the drop but I still kept a safe distance from the edge. From there it was a downward trend at first on small furrows that later turned into clearly marked and maintained walkways, all of them through okra red dusty soil. The paths dropped steeply in places and tight corners really tested the grip of our footwear but we avoided any falling over.

Natures amazing rock sculptures and twisted fire tinged trees were a constant distraction, in places new channels had been carved by the heavy rains of a few weeks ago but the landscape seemed to just shrug off the worst weather as and when it intruded. We stopped at a large reservoir to have snacks and draw breath before another upward turn, there were a few choices of direction ahead but after a bit of back tracking we found the route we wanted that brought us up to a small cottage. The Finca Tabaluga has solar panels and a water butt to make it almost totally self sufficient, last trip I met the German owner but this time it was locked up, an idyllic setting but very remote.

The final stretch seemed easier, probably because we knew the end was in sight, a last big uphill hike and we were back out on the main road close to our start point. The cloud hadn’t burnt off and the air was still cool with the odd fleck of moisture, in all it had taken 4 hours that had sped by. Vilaflor always has plenty to offer, there are several other walks and variations close to hand but even under a cloudy veil this had been quite spectacular and rewarding.

Bitter Sweet Away Win For CD Tenerife

It must make a huge difference having the pressure off since being relegated, there’s nothing to play for but for us fans another win, this time 2-1 at Albacete, is that flicker of hope that we can burn brightly again next season. Coach Amaral had 9 players missing for this game, Ricardo, Sicilia, and Luna suspended and Mikel, Igor, Hidalgo, Kome, Melli and Dubarbier all injured, a perfect chance to blood 2 more home grown B team players. Ayoze came into the centre of defence and Moreno anchored the midfield, both responded well.

Shame on 2 of my regular Canarian bars in Los Cristianos that chose to show Barcelona rather than CDT, it made my enjoyment of the game very dissjointed, no such dilemas in Segunda B as away games will seldom be on television. Omar nearly made it a dream start a few minutes in but hit the post, Albacete didn’t have much to offer and with barely 2,000 in the stadium they weren’t going to get much encouragement. Nino has endeared himself to the fans with years of dedication and fire power but typically he is determined to finish this, possibly his last season with us, in a blaze of glory. Pressuring the home defence Nino won a penalty and conveted it with little trouble on the half hour. Of course it couldn’t be that easy, 5 minutes from the break Tato unleashed a fierce shot to level the scores.

Into the second half and Prieto and Bertran had half chances, Nino kept buzzing, and the new faces showed no signs of fading. It was a good move that won the game for Tenerife, Omar having one of his best games created an opening for Alvarez and the season long let down showed why we signed him by cracking in a crisp goal. Time for some more youth, German replaced Iriome just before Nino went close to increasing the lead. Albacete stirred a little and tested Sergio in goal with 5 minutes to go but the keeper covered it well. Fittingly Nino had the last word with another close effort but a 3rd win in 4 games showed that there is something to work on in Segunda B, it’s just a shame that the previous 4 coaches didn’t take a chance with the reserve players earlier in the season.

CD Tenerife Down To Third Tier Football After Five Star Fightback

At 2-1 down to Valladolid at home and with Luna sent off it was looking bleak for CD Tenerife, we knew relegation would come this weekend but please not like this. But there is always Nino, how can such a little man be so full of passion and energy, he inspired a second half fightback that stirred the memories and voices of the sparse 6,150 crowd.

There was no hiding place in this game, players were left knowing exactly how the fans felt about them, captain Marc Bertran was roundly booed when his name was announced and abused throughout the game along with several other players. Valladolid had an early shot over the bar from Oscar but Tenerife were playing some great passing football and Nino was unlucky to see a rebound from his shot just elude Iriome. Dubarbier grabbed the lead after 16 minutes with a well taken lob from the left but then within a few minutes it all went wrong, Bertrans poor play was inviting raids down the right and Jofre set up Guerra to level. Then Luna got a harsh red card for a robust tackle on Sisi, Kitoko fell back into central defence but Bertran didn’t know what he was doing and Iriome had to keep back tracking to mop up behind him.

Oscar had Kitoko easily beaten but put his shot into the side netting, there was no let off though from a free kick for a hand ball on Bertran, another bad refereeing call. Sisi took the free kick well and beat Sergio to his left to give the visitors the lead. Another head shaking, hand wringing half time but changes for the restart sparked a recovery. Omar and Josmar trotted on for Alvarez and Dubarbier and added pace and spirit. Nino didn’t need much prompting, he seized the game and charged at Valladolid, when the ball broke to him he lashed it into the net with venom and defiance. A goal bound run stopped by an offside just made Nino more determined and when German came on for Iriome the pieces were in place.

The crowd sensed that a turnaround was on and roared the players forward, the winning goal was a taste of what might be to come for CDT. German turned on the style in front of goal and with an eye for the opening slipped the ball back to Nino to score his 15th of the season. For the remainder of the game it was like a dark cloud had been lifted, this was like the old days, Tenerife on top and looking good. The final whistle was greeted with the release of supressed joy, at last something to be proud of, just a moment in an awful season but one to savour.

And it came to pass that on Sunday morning watching the Tenerife B team lose at CD Marino, Nastic won their game to condemm us to the drop. These noon kick offs will become regular events next season in Segunda B but at least the emerging young players offer some hope. Sadly Nino may leave as his wages are too pricey for a semi pro team but he proved once again that he is priceless.

Losing CD Tenerife Cast Envious Eyes At Real Betis

Like the stubborn Kit Kat in the vending machine CD Tenerife are still teetering on the edge waiting for the drop into Segunda B. Nastic had been expected to provide the nudge but with them losing again even this 3-1 defeat at Real Betis couldn’t seal Tenerife’s fate. What a frustrating night watching the Betis party in full swing to celebrate their promotion to La Primera, our own promotion is still fresh in the memory but how quickly that has turned sour.

Canal Plus did their best to wind up the Armada Sur fans gathered at the Royal Oak 2, they stayed with the Barcelona title winning celebrations and only cut across to our game 3 minutes in as a penalty was given against us. Former Pio Ruben Castro was brought down by Pablo Sicilia and the annoying little player stepped up and made it 1-0. Tenerife went into this game without the suspended Nino and had a makeshift attack of Iriome and B team star German. Betis threatened to roll over Tenerife, after 17 minutes another surge saw the CDT defence open up and  Molina set up De Salva to make it 2-0.

Strangely this seemed to inspire Tenerife and they played some of their best football, better finishing could have seen them back in the game. German got into a good position but hit his shot over the bar and Mikel forced a save from the home keeper when he might have been better laying the ball off to his team mate. Kitoko created the Tenerife goal slipping a pass to Julio Alvarez (pic) out wide, he timed his chip perfectly as the keeper rushed out in vain. Betis restored their 2 goal lead just before half time with a break that ended with Isidro slipping the ball under Sergio Aragoneses.

The second half was a quieter affair as Betis did just enough to hold their 3-1 advantage and Tenerife made chances but couldn’t convert them. Omar came on for the impressive German and Ricardo thought he had the home keeper beaten but the stopper made a fine diving save. Mikel Alonso headed over as Kitoko gave way to Juanlu and Alvarez forced a 2 fisted clearance from the Betis goalie. Even in injury time Sicilia had a half chance  but the Betis party was already cranking up and Tenerife are still 11 points from safety but now with just 4 games and 12 points left.

A Win For CD Tenerife But Nobody Is Smiling

Sorting out my sock bag the other day I noticed that most were old, worn out and with holes in them, time for a clear out, I feel rather similar about this seasons CD Tenerife squad. At last we got a win with this 1-0 home victory over Recreativo but we barely deserved it, the last minute penalty looked quite generous and much of the game was bogged down in midfield and uninspiring, relegation has just been postponed for another day soon.

Half an hour before the game around 300 fans gathered behind the Tribuna stand to protest at the way the club has been run this season, weak management, and players that have shown no real passion for the club, as one of the banners pointed out, the fans are the only innocent party in all this mess. Some fans also boycotted the first 10 minutes of the game, I didn’t as I like to see all the action, it gives me something to moan about. The wide open spaces in the stadium were glaringly obvious and even when the protesters came in it still looked a poor crowd, the official 6,872 was quite a bit above what I estimated.

Never mind surely the players would respond to the protests by raising their game, alas not, it was another poor display that showed why we are hurtling towards Segunda B. Coach Amaral changed the shape and line up of the team again, Nino was alone up front again with Hidalgo playing just behind him and Omar and Durbarbier were supposed to be covering the flanks but kept getting sucked into the midfield swamp. Alonso started the game and showed some of the control we have been missing but mentally the Tenerife team are already relegated and it showed.

Sergio Aragoneses was the busiest player on the pitch, he came to Tenerife’s rescue with a string of classy saves, notably from Dani and Asen. Hidalgo got into some threatening positions but couldn’t score when he got the goal in his sight. Nino picked up his 5th yellow card of the season after 34 minutes, that will keep him out of the Betis away game and with Igor injured the forward options are pretty limited. Ricardo could have put Tenerife ahead just after half time but hit his effort high, Juanlu came on for Omar. The team was crying out for leadership, Marc Bertran has been a feeble captain all season and once again strolled around as if it was a training session, I did manage to get a photo of him marking a player, a real collectors item.

Durbarbier had also been booked and was replaced after 65 minutes to give German a run out. The B team striker looked fairly comfortable and is one of our hopes for next season. Sergio continued to impress and Hidalgo beavered away with nothing to show for his efforts. Kitoko was the last home substitution, I would have liked to have seen Josmar get another go, but the game was tailing off into a tame draw when German closed in on the Recreativo goal and was knocked over as the keeper charged out and cleared the ball. The referee was in a generous mood and awarded the penalty to Tenerife, Nino stepped up and placed his shot just beyond the goalies reach to give us an unexpected victory. The celebrations were flat and the mood downbeat, time is running out and most of these players are already history.

Pretend Your Happy When Your Blue

When I was younger (so much younger than today) I had a toy called Etch a Sketch, using buttons I could trace lines on the screen to make patterns or pictures and when I was bored of them I could shake it and the screen would clear to blank again – how I wish I could do something similar with CD Tenerife. This week was a 2-1 away loss to Granada, we didn’t play that bad, but we didn’t play that good, Melli was unlucky to get sent off but it was his own fault, we created a few good moves but had hardly any shots. It’s a familiar tale, we need a clean screen and now 14 points adrift from safety and just 18 points up for grabs from 6 games I’m ready to embrace the inevitable.

Yesterdays results, including an amazing 5-4 win for Salamanca, pushed CD Tenerife nearer the brink but the first half performance was pretty good at a soggy Granada, some crisp confident passing and an 8th minute lead. Julio Alvarez flighted a perfect free kick and Pablo Sicilia rose to nod it on into the home goal, Hidalgo nearly followed up with a 2nd but hit his shot straight at the keeper. Nino was playing as a left winger and cut inside well to set up Iriome, he should have done better but put his shot wide. That was the best of Tenerife, Granada came into the game and Lopez chipped over from an offside position and Bertran was relieved to see Ighalo pull up after an offside shout after the CDT captain had lost the ball upfield.

There was even some luck for Tenerife, just before half time Ighalo scored for the home team but the ref ruled it offside, Melli was clearly playing him on. Natalio came on for Iriome to start the second half Nino flashed a shot across the Granada goalmouth and straight after Benitez blasted a shot at Sergio that the keeper did well to parry. The turning point came after 59 minutes Melli got a second yellow card and was off, it was just a barge but the visiting defender had his hand raised and that swung the deal. Prieto came on for Hidalgo to plug the defence but Sergio found himself facing more attacks as Granada chased the game. A few minutes later Ighalo let 2 Tenerife defenders come at him before picking his spot and scoring.

The turnaround was complete after 79 minutes as Prieto (above) stuck his foot out to stop a defence splitting ball and turned it into his own net. The only good point from then on was seeing B team forward German make his debut with 5 minutes to go, he didn’t get to do anything but it’s another step for him towards leading the line in Segunda B next season. Ho hum another defeat, I’m off to play Ker Plunk.