Neither the Calima nor  Elche can stop Tenerife

CD Tenerife 1 Elche CF 0

EVERYONE was in party mood last Saturday at the Heliodoro, as Tenerife entertained Elche in the second of their back-to-back home games.
As is tradition, the newly-elected Carnival Queen was there to take the first kick, as a visible orange glow from the calima sandstorm started to encroach on Santa Cruz from the Sahara.
The only change Rubén Baraja introduced to the starting XI was to stick with Moore for Suso, who started on the bench.
The match began in the best possible way for the blanquiazul, who, from the off, looked lively.
Joselu had an early chance, one-on-one with Edgar Badía in the Elche goal, and looked as though he couldn’t miss. But, remarkably. he did!
In the 12th minute, Dani Gomez was less forgiving when he received a ball in the box from an Álex Muñoz header back across goal from a corner.

He was also one-on-one with Badía, but, unlike Joselu, Gomez smashed it home to give Tenerife the lead.
The referee had to refer the goal to VAR as Elche were claiming offside when their back-four pushed forward. But Josan had played Dani onside and the goal stood.

In an action-packed first half, there were chances at both ends. Elche tried to hit straight back with a good passage of play, but the final shot hit the side-netting. They then had to defend in numbers when Alex Muñoz looked for Joselu at the far post, only for the visitors to scrambled the ball away.
VAR was called on again in the 24th minute when Moore conceded an alleged penalty, but the video referee dismissed the claim as Pere Milla had fouled him when they went for the same ball.
Just a minute later, it looked as though CDT were certain to double their lead when Nahuel had an easy header on goal, but Badia got to it and, with an outstretched hand, managed to push it wide. From then on, the game lost a bit of its fluidity and both teams seemed to slow down.
The second half started with the same bland rhythm as the end of the first. A foul in the midfield and another of Alberto, made the resumption disjointed and a bit slow.
But Tenerife gradually increased their intensity, while Elche had a hard time leaving their half.
After a good move on the right between Moore and Luis Pérez, the latter put a pass through to Joselu, who had made a great run into the heart of the area.

Again, he found himself facing Badia, who stood tall and got the better of Joselu, keeping it at 1-0. At this stage, Joselu should have had two goals, and Tenerife would have been 3-0 up.
Elche coach Pacheta did not like the way the game was progressing and made a double change, bringing on Jonathas and I. Sánchez. He had already made a forced change in the first half because of an injury, whereas Tenerife had all three changes still intact.
The arrival of the Elche substitutes increased the danger because Nino had hardly touched the ball.
Jonathas had an excellent chance in the 64th minute when he fired a superb shot at Ortolá’s goal. But the CDT keeper got to it and the ball went out.
Baraja realised the danger of an Elche side growing in confidence, so he brought on Javi Muñoz in place of Joselu to firm up the defence.
Shortly after, in the 80th minute, he also brought on Álex Bermejo for his first appearance since picking up an injury over Christmas. Immediately, the substitute almost had a chance to seal it for the home team.
Unfortunately, keeper Badia, Elche’s man-of-the-match, again saved his team from going further behind with yet another good save.
This lifted Elche, going into the last 10 minutes, and they pushed for an equaliser, bottling-up Tenerife in their area.
However, the home side remained composed and avoided any threat to Ortolá’s goal, achieving a brilliant win at the final whistle, as well as four points from six in their two back-to-back home games.
As the skies grew more orange because of the calima, and fans headed off to the Carnival, Baraja had time to reflect on the fact that they are now unbeaten in six league games, and are slowly but surely, moving in the right direction.

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Posted by on Feb 28 2020. 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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