Mandia Brings Hope As CD Tenerife Grab Point Despite Barking Mad Ref

It was hardly a quiet day at the office for new CD Tenerife coach Juan Carlos Mandia, four sendings off, including his own dismissal from the dug out, yellow cards floating around like confetti, and all played out in a scorching 30 degree heat. This was much better from CDT, lots of effort and fight right until the finish, but poor finishing and a bizarre referee made it a frustrating 1-1 draw when they deserved more.

Mandia showed before the game that he intends to shake things up, in came Bellvis at left back for Beranger, Luna replaced the injured Sicilia in the heart of defence. Kome started in a more supportive role for Nino and youth defender Moreno was among the subs. With 16,145 fans cooking nicely on the terraces, Tenerife came out all guns blazing, Nino had a couple of early chances, his chip over the bar perhaps the best. Cartagena looked a poor side, going down at the slightest touch they tried to stifle the home enthusiasm. Hidalgo made a good run on goal but was crudely bundled over and Kome met the same fate and sent his free kick over the bar.

Nino rode as many tackles as he could and led the charge with little physical support, the visiting keeper produced a good block to prevent him opening the scoring. Then the game entered a bizarre phase as the referee boiled over in the heat, a second yellow card for Cartagena’s Sanchez saw him off and Mandia let the ref know what he thought of his poor performance and was banished to the stands. The referee had plenty more twists to add to the game in the second half as Cartagena stayed on their feet long enough to play a little football. The visitors took the lead after 62 minutes, Ricardo put his leg out in the box and former Tenerife player Moral made sure he went over leaving Toche to slot home the penalty. Mandia responded with three changes, Omar on for Kome, Juanlu for Hidalgo and Natalio for Mikel.

The response was swift, Juanlu put a good ball in from the right and Nino nipped in to level the game. Now the game was there for the taking, and Tenerife pushed forward in search of a winner. The Cartagena keeper, a steady defence and even the woodwork came to the rescue for the visitors, and coupled with some wayward finishing they held firm. The referee raised his ugly head again after 84 minutes giving Bellvis a second yellow card and his marching orders, then Herrero went crashing in on Julio Alvarez and joined the exodous from the pitch. So the rousing climax was played out with 10 CDT players on 9 opponents, and it wasn’t even a dirty game. Tenerife never gave up trying, Cartagena cleared off the line twice and deep into 6 minutes of injury time Natalio had the goal at his mercy but missed. Mandia will have plenty of encouragement and ideas after this draw, let’s hope the difficult away game at Barcelona B, live on Canal Plus, next Sunday will provide the first win of the season.