Big-guns fire blanks!

Malaga 1 CD Tenerife 0

GOALS create victories, which is why Tenerife bought strikers Nano and Naranjo in the summer. But they still couldn’t open their league account at Malaga on Saturday.

That’s just three points from their opening four games and the team are getting jittery. True, Malaga are a strong side, and this was their fourth straight win. True, also, is that Tenerife created plenty of chances, but their lack of goals is affecting the whole team.

Alberto was dropped to maintain the two new strikers, plus Joao Rodriguez on the right wing, which left Bryan Acosta and Luis Milla stretched in midfield.

Jack Harper, Spanish with Scottish parents, picked his way through the Tenerife defence to fire an early warning at Dani Hernandez in goal, before Acosta picked out Malbasic, who couldn’t get a clean shot.

Joao was trying to balance his attacking instincts against the need to cover back, and Ontiveros robbed him of the ball. But, thankfully, it came to nothing. Milla conjured up an opening, but his skill was wasted when Nano ran into a defender from his pass.

Ontiveros, who was trouble on the left, thundered a free shot towards the Tenerife goal, but Dani patted it down and took it with his second touch. The home player followed up with a cross to Blanco, whose header lacked direction.

The first half was continuing the pattern of slow starts by Tenerife, although Naranjo could have changed that with a well-taken free-kick after Joao was fouled. But a defender headed away the danger. Luis Perez, having a poor game at right-back for the visitors, was exposed cruelly by Ontiveros. He played the ball on to Blanco, who slipped it past Dani for a 35th-minute lead.

Another big blow arrived a few minutes later. Jorge had just shaken off a bang to the head after making a vital clearance, but Joao was less resilient when a foul by Lagen took his trailing leg. The winger couldn’t play on, so captain Suso took over his right-flank duties.

Some people think Suso should be gardening or taking up bowls, but the 33-year-old still has fire in his belly and pace in his feet. Twice in the opening minutes of the second half, the skipper set up Naranjo, who wasn´t quite on the same wavelength.

Suso took it on and beat two defenders before firing a shot low at the near post to make the keeper look a little lively. Montañes became the second Tenerife sub, taking over from Naranjo out on the left.

Suso was caught in two minds when Milla found him with a pass, with Malbasic begging for the ball in front of goal. But the captain had a go himself and missed the target.

Tenerife were now giving as good as they got, and a stray free-kick fell back to Milla, who hit a cracking shot which went tantalisingly close. Nano carved out an opening for Malbasic, but the Serbian couldn’t get his shot past the oncoming defender.

Home sub Juankar was starting to look a handful, but Perez demonstrated that his confidence was premature by nicking the ball off him in full stride.

Coach Exteberria had his sights set on at least a point, bringing on 19-year-old striker Borja for left-back Camille with 13 minutes left.

It kick-started a late charge. Suso showed great vision by cutting inside and curling a shot past two defenders. Only a ping off the post, and out, stopped it from being on all the football round-up shows.

Dani repelled Malaga with two late saves, and the last action of the game was a snatched shot from Montañes.

It’s still early days, but CD Tenerife weren’t planning to be in 16th spot at this stage. And neither were the fans!


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Posted by on Sep 14 2018. Filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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