Granadilla Tenerife Sur Can Almost Taste The Promotion Cake

They came by the cart load to see the new football heroines of the south Granadilla Tenerife Sur grab a 2-1 lead over Fundacion Albacete in the first leg of the play off final for promotion to La Liga. The timing was perfect as this was the day of the big local Romeria, we noticed that fact as we overtook a barn on wheels full of party people in full Canarian costume. The traditional homage to San Antonio de Abad was put on hold for a few hours as around 1,000 people enjoyed the free entry to the stadium.

Just inside the stadium gates everyone was given a large crusty loaf from game sponsors Tarteria, I would have been just as happy with a little tart. The sponsors also had a man dressed as a pink cake who spent much of the game being chased up and down the terracing by a man with a megaphone, I think they were local internet pranksters Rudy Y Ruyman.

It was refreshing to see both teams play such good flowing football, it was pretty even early on before GTS cut open the Albacete defence to set up Maria Jose Perez for a neat finish. The cousin of CD Tenerife’s Ayoze was delighted to be back in action after a crunching leg injury in the Canarian Championship final and celebrated with her team mates. The human cake got a bit carried away and ran onto the pitch, the referee had a word with the home officials but wisely didn’t take any further action, come on how would he explain it in his match report.

Albacete backed by a large section of fans, came back strongly and pinned Granadilla down, the defence did well but with five minutes to the break a strong header at the far post tied the score. That left the home coach, Andres Clavijo, plenty to think about at half time as the crowd enjoyed the party atmosphere with the beer flowing and a couple of drummers providing the beat. My loaf was in danger of becoming toast as the sun scorched down, I was still waiting for someone to bring the fishes to go with it. People were sat on vantage points high up on the surrounding half finished buildings and the return of the players was greeted with a roar.

Albacete had ended the first half on top but Granadilla looked determined in the second half as they used the wings well, Reichel, the main striker was a constant threat to the visiting defence as they were kept under sustained pressure. It paid off as a hurried clearance produced a hand ball in the box, the referee didn’t hesitate and pointed to the spot, up stepped Maria Jose Perez to convert the penalty and spark wild celebrations. There was still plenty to do with the away leg to come, the home squad has plenty of depth, they signed three players from Catalan side Sant Gabriel at the end of the regular season and they used their subs well to keep the team fresh. The players collapsed exhausted at the final whistle but the slender lead gives Granadilla an excellent chance to achieve their dream away next weekend.