Granadilla’s Big Win On The Big Stage

Emerging up the dressing room steps of the Heliodoro stadium, Egatesa Granadilla Tenerife soaked up the adoration of 2,374 fans. CD Tenerife’s home ground in Santa Cruz may have been a bit bigger than their usual San Isidro setting but the ladies rose to the challenge with a confident and well deserved 2-1 league win over Sevilla.

Early exchanges were cautious but Maria Jose Perez showed her usual flair with a daring long range lob that beat former Granadilla goalie Noelia Ramos, and the bar. There was plenty of commitment from both sides, with 10 minutes gone Eva Llamas and Sevilla captain Ali clashed heads when leaping for a loose ball. Both needed treatment, and Ali returned to the pitch with her head swathed in bandages. Pinel of Sevilla made some speedy wide runs but the Granadilla defence coped well with her. Ivory Coast forward Ange Koko on the right for Granadilla posed plenty of problems for the visiting back line, and Martin-Prieto was unlucky to see her skewed shot rise over the bar.

The blue and whites were building the pressure on their mainland opponents. Martin-Prieto opened Sevilla up with a quick raid, Noelia couldn´t hold her shot, and Maria Jose buried it in the open net. The ref whistled for a harsh offside. Five minutes later their was a similar call when the same two players combined to bulge the net again. The lineswomans flag went up and despite captain Pisco pleading her case, the goal wasn´t given. Sevilla must have sensed a dip in the Granadilla morale, Amparito nipped past the Granadilla defence for a shot that Aline Reis couldn´t hold onto, leaving Pinel with an easy tap in lead. That brought an immediate response from the home side, a well measured ball from Joyce found Maria Jose in a good position but Lucia robbed the ball from her. Ange changed wings and found room on the left, Bores stopped her progress with an arm in the face, and a Pisco free kick just before the break came to nothing. They carried on their assault on goal in the second half, Joyce went close with an effort just the wrong side of the post. Within minutes Granadilla were level, a surge forward was partially repelled as far as Estella who stretched to poke the ball over the line. Sevilla were keen to restore their advantage, a hard shot was tipped over by the alert Aline Reis to keep them at bay. Martin-Prieto was close at the other end, beating Lara before putting her shot a little too high.

Ana Gonzalez and Sara Tui added new blood from the bench for Granadilla but it was Ange who made Noelia work hard to snuff out another opportunity. Estella thought she had got a second home goal, it was destined for the back of the net before Noelia produced a classy full stretch save. Jackie Simpson pushed up to add her power in the air to the Granadilla cause but going for the same high ball as Sevilla´s Lucia meant both players needed attention.Twice Paloma unleashed long shots to try to break the stale mate, neither brought their reward. Sevilla started to show more urgency, Morilla tried a delicate lob to let her fellow sub Olga through, the final shot missed the target.

With time running out, Noelia parried a shot from Ange and saved at the second attempt. Four minutes of injury time were signalled, Ange took off for another mazy run and picked out Paloma who’s finish was lethal to make it 2-1.The action switched to the other end where Olga floated in a hanging cross. Before a team mate could get to it, Brazilian Aline Reis plucked the ball down safely. That was the last chance, Granadilla just had enough seconds to take off Maria Jose, giving sub Natalia Ramos a brief moment to share the pitch with her sister Noelia. The final whistle brought joy to the crowd, the players, and recently appointed coach Pier Cherubino, on the ground he graced as a CD Tenerife player. Most important of all were the three league points that put Granadilla in fourth place, in Spain´s premier league.