Tenerife fall just wide of the mark

Sporting de Gijon 2 CD Tenerife 1

TENERIFE battled their hearts out in the hope of beginning a decent run of form, but they couldn’t quite get the better of a lively Sporting side, despite playing well themselves.

The Asturians started quite well at their El Molinón stadium, in José Alberto’s first home game as first-team coach, with two good chances in the first few minutes.

The first came from Sousa, who hit the ball straight into the hands of keeper Dani Hernández. Frenchman Babin then missed his shot after a quick free-kick that surprised Tenerife.

Perhaps, because of the fright, Oltra’s Tenerife men woke up. They were superior in the final stretch of the first half, and would have gone ahead had Milla had been more accurate with a shot at an open goal, the ball soaring over the bar.

At the start of the second half, Gijon coach José Alberto made a double change that altered the game’s shape, bringing on Cristian Salvador in midfield, and Englishman Nick Blackman up front.

With two forwards, the Sporting team improved a lot, so much so that Blackman, on loan from Derby County, immediately made a difference by giving more attacking options.

But on the hour, Tenerife must have thought they’d gone ahead. Acosta broke forward and slotted the ball past the Gijon keeper easily, only to be ruled offside.

Three minutes later, Babin broke the deadlock following a corner for the home team, which should have been cleared by Tenerife, the Frenchman’s athletic strike nestling neatly in the far corner.

Then, just four minutes later, Sporting doubled their lead with another excellent goal, this time from Serbian Djurdjevic.

He took the ball neatly on his chest, and sent an overhead kick from 15 yards flying past a sprawling Dani in the Tenerife goal to make it 2-0 after 67 minutes.

Tenerife had battled all match and given what was possibly the best overall performance of the season under Oltra. And their persistence paid off in the 72nd minute.

The build-up involved slick passing between five players, with Naranjo calmly slotted the ball home to reduce the gap.

But Sporting Gijon tightened up at the back and controlled the last 15 minutes relatively easily until the end, apart from a last-gasp Milla effort, which was easily saved by Marino.

Although Tenerife suffered another defeat, there were many positives to take from this encounter. For the first time this season, they operated as a unit, and their understanding of each other on the pitch was greatly improved.

And, despite a four-point gap in the table between 14th and 15th places, Tenerife have a really good chance to narrow this tonight (Friday) at home against Extremadura UD.

The visitors are level on points and also struggling. But if Oltra’s men repeat their latest performance, expect a good result!


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Posted by on Dec 6 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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