Youth Make A Big Splash As CD Tenerife Dance In The Rain

Out of despair, conflict, and uncertainty, CD Tenerife produced a remarkable display of solidarity and stubborn defiance to snatch a 0-2 win at Sporting Gijon. The sacking of coach Aritz Lopez Garai had exposed old wounds at the club and sown new doubts about the remainder of the season. Forget flowing football, the torrential rain scuppered that, caretaker coach Sesé Rivero made bold decisions that paid off, and the team huddle at the full whistle showed was brimming with pride in a job well done.
There were no drastic changes in the starting line up, Javi Alonso continued his progress from the B team with a starting midfield slot for the suspended Alberto, and he had a fine full game. Early play was always going to be tense, Ortola calmed nerves with a couple of solid stops in goal, and Javi cleaned up after the Tenerife defence got in a mix and nearly let the home side in. There was a scare when an aerial duel saw the ball canon at the away goal from the head of Munoz, Ortola was coolness itself as he snuffed out the ricochet.

Medina was the play maker for Gijon and Aitor the buzzing forward waiting to snap up any openings. Luis Perez was at his sharpest to poke away a shot after Aitor has burst past three defenders. The Tenerife team were struggling at times to adjust from the old coaches tactics to the new boss´s input, but they worked at it. Aitor threatened again after cutting the ball back from the byline but Ortola was on the case. Borja Lasso was playing a more advanced role with Malbasic offering very little in a deep position, Nahuel and Shaq Moore gradually found an understanding as they interchanged on the left.
Medina beat Carlos Ruiz to post a header at the visitors goal, Ortola had it covered. The Tenerife keeper did even better just before the break to stand tall to a Djuka break and a fierce shot that winded him but didn´t beat him. A storm had been weathered and it was a sunnier Tenerife that emerged for the second half, especially with Dani Gomez taking over from the invisible Malbasic. Passes were getting crisper, and pressure was growing on the Gijon goal. When Valiente fouled Nahuel on the edge of the home box after 54 minutes, VAR was awoken and awarded a Tenerife penalty. Captain Suso took a few deep breaths to calm the nerves and placed the ball in the roof of the net to take the lead. It could have been short lived, Djuka beat a clutch of Tenerife defenders before unloading his shot, Ortola dived and turned it aside with ease.

The pitch was breaking up in the downpour but Dani Gomez was the lawn master as he side stepped his marker and picked his shot to perfection to double the lead. If anyone though that Rivero would play safe, that was soon dispelled when he took off Nahuel and brought on defender Dos Santos, discarded for so long he was covered in cobwebs. Gomez is a real prospect, the 20 year old loanee from Real Madrid held up the ball well and passed to Borja who shot wide. Rivero has poured years into the youth coaching set up at Tenerife and drew on his knowledge to give a sub debut to Elliot Gomez as Suso departed. The 20 year old player made an immediate impact with an impressive cross into the path of Dani Gomez who was clattered by a home defender. Ortola capped a great evenings work with a late save from a strong header, and Elliot powered down the right to force a corner just before the teams played out the added time. What a tonic this was for Tenerife´s ills, but there are still many things to be resolved.