Sweet victory over Bilbao, despite missed chances

Not just competing with the best, but actually out playing them, this was a great nights work for CD Tenerife as they shrugged aside Athletic Bilbao with a well deserved 1-0 home win. Going into the game, the signs were ominous, CDT coming off a 4-0 defeat and with defenders Luna and Bertran suspended, while Bilbao were in hot form, third in La Liga with 3 wins out of 3 and bags of goals.

Tenerife show little respect for form, and went at Bilbao from the off, a bad clearance by the visiting goalie nearly gave Alfaro an early reward. Nino missed from an Alfaro cross as Tenerife dominated the play, Gabilondo had a rare break for the visitors but shot over the bar. Sicilia and Nunez looked pretty comfortable filling in on defence and up front the chances were coming thick and fast. Nino looked sure to score, just a few yards in front of goal but somehow put it over, Roman forced one of many great saves from Iraizoz in the Bilbao goal, and when Nino got the ball in the net at the half hour mark, it was ruled out for offside.

Tenerife lost Ricardo, helped off injured, just before the break but it didn’t disrupt their flow too much, Alfaro was denied 2 more golden chances by Iraizoz either side of half time. The 20,600 crowd pushed Tenerife on with a constant wave of noise but the breakthrough still wouldn’t come. Omar came on and set up Alfaro, who this time failed with a header, but a home goal was long overdue, Alfaro floated the ball into the box and it seemed to hang in the air for an eternity before Mikel Alonso connected with his head and powered the ball into the net to send a relieved crowd wild.

The referee added on 5 minutes of injury time, nail biting stuff, Omar missed a sitter and Aragoneses had to be sharp to deny Toqueros overhead kick, but justice was done as the final whistle blew. The score didn’t reflect the total dominance of Tenerife, 17 shots on goal, looks like shooting practice will be top of the training regime this week. Now on to Saturday and the small matter of Real Madrid away.