CD Tenerife boys are show-stealers

FINALLY, after two decades of the La Liga Promises Under-12s tournament, Canarian teams were invited to compete on their home soil.

But, cruelly, CD Tenerife and Gran Canaria’s Las Palmas were not asked to take part in the main event, at the Antonio Dominguez stadium, in Las Americas.

They had to contest a consolation competition in the smaller, Anexo stadium next door, against early fallers from the main competition, in a bid to fight their way through to a final on the big stage.

Defiant Tenerife were not to be denied their big audience, though, after setting out on a glorious adventure, and first up were Italians Roma.

The game was played across half of the normal-size artificial pitch, with none of the fuss being dished out next door. But they did have a couple of hundred, eager Tenerife fans spurring them on.

Roma were all about patient build-ups and wing-play, and Tenerife’s captain and keeper made some outstanding saves.

But the Roma keeper was also kept busy as Tenerife grew in confidence. With no score after two 12-minute periods, it was decided by a shoot-out of five penalties each. And a great save from Roma’s last kick gave Tenerife victory.

It was a similar story in their semi-final clash with Jef United, the plucky, talented, Japanese team. And another goal-less draw meant another shoot-out, shaded by Tenerife to clinch their place in the final.

At least they got to play in the purpose-built, temporary arena, within the main stadium pitch. But Las Palmas lost their games and went home without getting a sniff of the big set-up.

So the consolation final on the big stage was Tenerife v Inter Milan, with live broadcasts on several European channels, instant-replays on a giant screen, and loads of razzmatazz in the build-up for the thousands watching both finals.

Tenerife were caught cold by Milan, who grabbed a first-minute, headed lead, and were 2-0 up soon after when a powerful free-kick eluded the keeper.

Once they settled, though, Tenerife showed how good their football was by testing their opponents. Pablo reduced the arrears after a poor Milan clearance to earn the biggest cheer of the night. But Milan scored again before the break for a 3-1 lead.

It was all Tenerife in the second 20-minute half. They had a header rebound off a post, and Pablo showed good, close-control before launching a shot, which was well-smothered by the Italian stopper.

There was plenty of spirit in the Tenerife team, who never gave up against a physical Roma side. And even in the final minute, they created a couple of good chances.

A combination of determined goalkeeping, and a little bad luck, meant they left empty-handed, but what a shining beacon they were for local talent!

There was a massive ovation for Tenerife as they left the field, having given a great account of themselves, and proving they deserved to have been included in the main competition.

Even the La Liga Promises organisers tweeted their admiration to CD Tenerife, while Spain’s leading sports paper, Marca, made a point of praising Tenerife and their fans.

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Posted by on Jan 5 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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