No carnival spirit from Numancia!

CD Tenerife 1 CD Numancia 1

CARNIVAL Sunday didn’t quite have the same atmosphere as the night before, when Tenerife took on Numancia at the Heliodoro for their 29th game of the season.

It was CDT’s first match for two weeks, following Reus’s three-year ban from the Spanish leagues for financial irregularities.

Three points were awarded to all teams who had remaining fixtures with them, including Tenerife, who should have played them away the week before.

These welcome points, and the extra time off, should have helped them as they started an important home game against Numancia, just a couple of places above them in the league.

But Tenerife appeared to be lacking when the away team started brightly, with 73% possession in the first half.

It felt as though Numancia were invading keeper Dani’s goal area as they came with attack after attack, but Tenerife held strong.

Alberto covered a good shot by David Rodriguez in the third minute, while Unai Medina had a chance to put through David two minutes later, following an excellent back-heel by Fran Villalba.

Then Alain Oyarzun’s shot finished high over the bar in the 16th minute after a remarkable run of play from the visitors.

There was little in return from Tenerife, thanks to Numancia central-defender Carlos Gutiérrez, who seemed to be stopping any progression from the home team, as well as Escassi, who controlled the midfield.

But in the 24th minute, Tenerife had a corner from the left-hand side of the pitch. Six blue-and-white shirts piled into the box awaiting a cross from Luis Milla, but keeper Juan Carlos seemed more bothered about a tussle between Ganea and Malbasic than the corner-kick.

Milla, on the other hand, had different ideas and produced one of the goals of the season. A beautiful, right-footed, curling corner sailed over all the players, including the keeper, and nestled in the top right-hand part of the net.

This “Olympic goal”, completely against the run of play, gave Tenerife a 1-0 lead.

But it failed to change the game’s dynamics, and Numancia continued to dominate the rest of the first half.

There were more good saves by Dani from Villalba (38 mins) and Gus Ledes (45), while Ganea hit the side-netting in the 43rd minute.

Carlos Ruiz also had a good game for the home team, with some excellent interceptions, which would have led to certain danger.

Only Racic and Milla had more presence for Tenerife, who rarely managed to break, or conjure any clear-cut chances leading up to half-time. But at least they led at the break.

Tenerife, coming out for the second half, decided to wake up and get on with it, taking the game to Numancia immediately. Malbasic had a good shot saved by Juan Carlos in the 48th minute, as did Luis Pérez 60 seconds later.

In the 51st minute, Milla had another corner and found Malbasic in front of goal. But he was challenged by Carlos Ruiz and put the ball wide.

Milla himself had a good effort saved in the 59th minute, making it a busy period for CDT, but, unfortunately, lacking success.

At this point, Numancia fought back and forced Dani into three more outstanding saves, from Diamanka (61 min), Villalba (62) and Yeboah (63), in as many minutes.

Coach Oltra wanted to stop the bleeding with fresh legs up front, by bringing on Isma Lopez and Nano. But Numancia were relentless, and, five minutes from time, their pressure paid off.

Ganea took a corner on the same left-hand side from which Milla had scored, and delivered a perfect ball into the centre of the danger area.

Higinio rose above everyone else, directing a powerful header past stranded Dani, to score a deserved equaliser in the 85th minute.

In fairness, this was a point won for Tenerife and not two points lost, even though they led for over an hour, because they had been dominated by a much hungrier Numancia.

Four points from, effectively, the last two games, have left them in 16th place, and just five points above the relegation zone. And with the demise of Reus, only three other teams will be relegated.

Tenerife are away tomorrow (Saturday) at Alcorcón, before a huge match the following week, entertaining league leaders Osasuna.

These two games could, possibly, decide their league future.


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Posted by on Mar 15 2019. 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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