Granadilla revival falls short

Egatesa Granadilla Tenerife 2 Real Sociedad 3

BARELY an hour gone, and Egatesa Granadilla Tenerife had a mountain to scale as Real Sociedad went 3-0 ahead at San Isidro.

It could have knocked the spirit out of the home side in their first league game, but three key changes at half-time influenced the play, and the visitors were forced to hang on for the points.

Six quality arrivals in the summer bolstered Granadilla, with Brazilians Ailine Reis, in goal, and midfielder Joyce Borini, soon heavily involved.

Borini showed a good turn of speed down the left before firing over the bar, while, at the other end, Reis leapt well to take control of a high cross.

There’s often a swirling wind at the top end of San Isidro, and when home forward Cristina Martin-Prieto sent a header towards goal, and Sociedad keeper Quiñones guessed correctly before snuffing out the danger.

Sociedad took 14 minutes to get going, and Chini Pizarro put them ahead, finishing off a pitch-length move at the post, after Borini only half-cleared a counter-attack. It was a clear warning of how lethal Sociedad could be on the break, and Uriarte nearly doubled the advantage with a fierce blast, which went wide.

Maria Jose Perez did her best to get her team level by linking with the tricky Ange Koko as she cut in from the right. But Quiñones stood firm as the Ivory Coast player tried to chip over her.

Sociedad were a tough, physical team, and Koko took the brunt of some crunching tackles as Granadilla fought to get back into the game.

But the visitors were quick to change tempo. Captain Nahikari had just failed to reach one loose ball in front of goal, but she adjusted well a few minutes later to feed Cardona, who scored on the vulnerable left of the home defence.

However, there was still plenty of fight in the home side. Beltran was booked for a foul on Koko, and Cindy Garcia took the free-kick, only to blast the ball straight at the keeper.

There was a lot of thinking to be done during the half-time break, and coach Toni Ayala was bold and radical with his changes for the second half.

Borini, Martin-Prieto, and Silvia Doblado departed. On came American Jackie Simpson at right-back, freeing Cindy Garcia to push forward. Ana Gonzalez and Sara Tui also added more spice to their attacking options.

Chini brought down Maria Jose, who climbed to her feet and fired a shot that came back off the bar. Maria Estella joined the all-out charge with a well-placed cross for Maria Jose to chase near the Sociedad keeper.

All that adventurous play left gaps for Sociedad to fill, and Nahkari, who found herself facing Simpson, curled the ball past her and Reis to make it 3-0.

Attack was still the only option for Granadilla if they wanted to get something out of the game. Jackie Simpson is always pushed up for set-pieces for her heading ability, and she went close from an Estella pass.

Koko and Tui managed two more good opportunities as they stepped up the pressure. The breakthrough came from another Koko run and lay-off to Maria Jose, who drilled the ball home.

That lifted the 600 crowd, as did further efforts from Maria Jose and two Sara Tui chances. A last change for the final 10 minutes gave a home debut to Polish signing Alexandra Zaremba.

Some of the ref’s calls had frustrated Granadilla, but not as much as her red card to Maria Jose after Maddi Torre went down off the ball.

The home player looked shocked by the decision, but Granadilla later appealed successfully, on the grounds that there had been no contact between the players.

But the incident served to fire up the home players for a final fling. Alexandra forced a corner from her marker, but the keeper pounced as the ball came across.

One last corner was headed down in the area by Cindy Garcia, and Simpson squeezed the ball between the post and the keeper as two defenders tried to crowd her out.


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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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