CDT break Extremadura  curse in six-goal thriller!

Extremadura UD 2
CD Tenerife 4

TENERIFE first visited Almendralejo to play Extremadura in the 1954/55 season, but they have never brought three points home!
In fact, there have been 14 trips, resulting in a total of three points, with three draws and just two goals scored.
But last Saturday, Baraja and his men, with their new-found form and confidence, broke this curse in emphatic style.
Tenerife not only secured the three points, but scored four goals… and that tally could easily have been more!
In their best performance of the Baraja era, the blanquiazules proved that in the Second Division, you can play good football and get important results, because their technical merit goes beyond the figures.
Baraja has been ruthless, cleaning the changing room of what he considered to be “football waste”. He has managed to transfer his ideas to players like Nikola Sipcic, a different footballer now after his disastrous start to the season, and to  Shaq Moore, who has grown in confidence, playing an important part in the transformation.
The coach took a no-nonsense approach to this match, sticking with his favoured 4-4-2 and a starting XI which hasn’t changed much, apart from Ortolá in goal for the injured Dani Hernández.
A strong back-four of Munoz, Sipcic, Alberto and Luis Pérez, had Nahuel, Aitor Sanz, Luis Milla and Shaq Moore in front of them, with no starting place for Suso, who was on the bench, and up-front, Dani Gomez and Joselu, the two in-form strikers.

As the game started, it was plain to see that neither side wanted to give anything away, and the first 20 minutes was  pretty uneventful, except for a yellow card for Extremadura forward Alex Alegria.
All that changed, however, in the 27th minute, when CDT broke down the left with Alex Munoz, who beat his man and put over a cross.

It was deflected to the far post, where Shaq Moore, in a race with the defender, managed to toe-poke the ball past Casto to put Tenerife ahead.

After this, all hell seemed to break loose and the game became frantic. But Baraja told his men to stay calm, be patient, and not make any silly mistakes… and it paid off!
Dani Gomez received the ball wide right, and did really well to hold it up as he headed into the area. He then took on   three Extremadura players, whose frustration showed through, and Pardo brought him down to concede a penalty.
Luis Milla stepped up to take it and calmly sent the keeper the wrong way, making it 2-0 to the visitors with 39 minutes gone.
Baraja didn’t make any half-time changes, and CDT’s players came out for the next 45 minutes with a spring in their step.

They knew Extremadura would have to bring the game to them, and that it would be a tough, physical second half.
In the 56th minute, what should have been a good chance for the home team turned into disaster. Nono floated a cross into the Tenerife area, looking for Alegria, who swung for the ball, kicking Joselu in the process.

As both players went to the ground Extremadura claimed a penalty. But, quite rightly, the referee said No, and gave Alegria his second yellow card of the afternoon, sending him off to reduce the home team to 10 men.
Yet they continued to try to find a way through, and six minutes later, VAR helped them get a penalty, after a handball by Sipcic during a challenge on Nono.
Extremadura’s man of the match wasted no time in placing the ball on the spot and halving the deficit by beating Ortolá, just! The keeper got his fingertips to the ball, but not enough the prevent the home side from making it 2-1.
In times gone by, Tenerife heads would have gone down at this point, and nerves would have kicked in. But this new-look CDT stayed calm, played football and, 13 minutes later, they were rewarded.
Right-back Luis Perez had a great run down the wing, taking advantage of the overlap, and put over a low, hard cross that Dani Gomez met on the far post and blasted past Casto to make it 3-1 after 76 minutes.
By now, Baraja was signalling to his players from the technical area to stay in formation and see out the game for a famous victory. But Extramadura, who didn’t want the record to go, continued to press.
But this was to be their downfall because, in the 83rd minute, Tenerife broke with a counter-attack and sub Javi Munoz played an excellent through-ball to Dani Gomez.

He beat his man brilliantly, and slotted it home for his second and his team’s fourth of the day: 4-1 to CDT!
This was, effectively, game over, and although Pinchi scored a conciliatory goal in the last minute after an Ortolá mistake. Tenerife had achieved an historic win and are now six matches unbeaten, if you include their cup games.
It was a fantastic result, lifting them to 14th in the table, and leaving Extremadura deeply in the relegation zone.

It’s a good time to be a Tenerife fan right now, and Ruben Baraja is settling his squad and achieving their potential, especially as there are still key players injured.
Their next two games are at home, starting with Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, and a couple of wins could really push them up the table.
If you’ve never been to Santa Cruz to see them play, do yourself a favour and go!


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Posted by on Feb 14 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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