Granadilla Tenerife Sur On Verge Of Primera Dream

Guess which glorious island isn’t top of the Real Betis brochure list? The female footballers of Granadilla Tenerife Sur inflicted a 3-1 play off first leg defeat on the Sevilla visitors just a week after their men were humbled 2-0 at CD Tenerife.

A tougher challenge was expected in the final two games that separate GTS from a place in the Primera and Betis were quick out off the gate with a left break  created goal from top scorer Paula after just three minutes. I was worried that the local ladies might get swamped but they showed fantastic character to turn the tie around. There was a bumper crowd of 2,000 to 3,000, depending on what estimate you read, and where I was prowling the sidelines by the team benches there was a liberal sprinkling of non payers on the rocky hills above. Was that the smell of BBQs drifting across or was that a hint of rock and roll cigarettes?

Back at the game the inspirational orange booted Maria Jose Perez (cousin of Ayoze) was starting to make her prescence felt out on the left flank. Getting in a good position Maria sliced a shot over the bar. Home pressure was building and a teasing cross from Marilen found the head of Maria to level the scores just before the 10 minute mark. Silvia found herself free with just the Betis goalie to beat but the stopper raced out to snuff out the danger. Betis had their chances, a speedy raid brought out the best in home goalie Noelia who showed a safe pair of hands. Reichel was always a threat in the centre for GTS she worked hard to shake off her markers in the box and wasn’t far away from the target with her hooked shot.

Betis were on the back foot, Granadilla spotted their opening and charged at their rivals, Reichel was waiting in the goal mouth to add her header to the scoreline, 2-1 up and looking good after 30 minutes. It was vital to take advantage of a reticent Betis side and during another attack the visiting keeper could only parry a shot from Miriam leaving Maria to bury the loose ball in the net. The Sevilla team had their best spell at the start of the second half, now was the time for the Granadilla defence to show their worth, they didn’t disappoint.

Sub Ana caused lots of problems for the Betis defence, a delicate touch to the side of the goalie nearly brought a fourth goal. That was followed up with another good chance as Ana turned swiftly and fired a shot that Marilen couldn’t quite finish off.  There was still plenty of danger from Betis but the home defence, particularly Laura, were on top form. It was good to see the whole squad get involved, Tibi came off the bench for Maria Jose who departed to a huge ovation after a virtuoso performance.

A sloppy back pass nearly offered Betis a way back but Pizco covered well and took the ball away from harm and a great save from Noelia underlined the home win. It sets things up well for the away leg, coach Toni Ayala insists they will go for another win rather than sit back on thee two goal cushion. Come on ladies, one last push.