Late Pio Goal Spoils CD Tenerife Party And Gets Coach Mandia Fired

What a difference a goal makes, there we were cruising to a 1-0 win over deadly rivals Las Palmas but the pios nipped in with a 87 th minute equaliser leaving us deflated and coach Mandia heading for the exit door. Honest I did have good intentions, I even asked for a coffee at The Royal Oak at 8am but the coffee machine wasn’t working and before I knew it a beer was plonked in front of me, oh well go with the flow. So began derby day with the pios of Las Palmas coming to town, always a great event and with both teams in a slump it took on extra significance and the beer is all part of the big day.

The sound of happy voices singing filled the 2 coaches of Armada Sur and even eclipsded the sound of bottles and cans clanking, we had a good run up to Santa Cruz with a quicker than usual stop at the Oasis for liquid top ups. We faced a dilema whether to get to our bar before or after the pio fans were marched past on their way to the ground, however the police dropped a surprise on us by not herding the yellow peril up the hill from the port until 10 minutes before the game. What a daft decision, it meant that some of us were held back at the side of the ground as they passed our turnstile and the upper tiers of the heliodoro stadium were able to have some free target practice at the pios. A few hundred of the 1,000 plus pios didn’t get into the ground until 15 minutes into the game, I know we would have been pissed off if the situation had been reversed, quite a few cars near the stadium got trashed maybe the police will pay the bill?

The game promised so much but Tenerife’s weaknesses came back to haunt them, the cause wasn’t helped by Alonso being ruled out with a training back injury. Coach Mandia failed to win all the fans over and his final selection had a few question marks in it, Beranger returned at left back and was as hopeless as he has been all season, Sicilia was put just in front of the back four and looked lost. Las Palmas had a good chance within 10 minutes when Sergio failed to hold a corner but Ruyman could only put his shot wide. Nino was again foraging alone up front, his shot was parried out but was just out of reach of Kome’s boot. Natalio was supposedly helping Nino but looked too lightweight and was easily charged off the ball. Tenerife had Sergio to thank for keeping it a stalemate at half time, he got a hand to a pio shot and Bertran headed the loose ball clear and another one handed punch could easily have fallen into the path of an away attacker.

The second half had a dream start, Omar set up Melli for the break through goal just 6 minutes into the restart, it was a deserved lead but as the 20,000 crowd roared their approval Tenerife failed to show the killer instinct and as the game went on Las Palmas stepped up the poace with young Argentinian sub Quiroga causing plenty of problems. The inexperienced forward brought a good save out of Sergio but with just 3 minutes to go Quero put in a good pass which Quiroga pounced on and finished in style. The pio fans cheered it like it was a world cup winner and we all knew it was 2 points dropped. Given the speed of Antonio Tapia’s appointment as new coach it seems he was waiting in the wings and even victory might not have saved Mandia. It just gets tougher and now the new boss has to work a miracle in the next 2 home games.