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Tenerife make a point

Sport 8Las Palmas 1 CD Tenerife 1

Over 28,000 watched the latest Canary Islands derby and whilst it might not have been the greatest it was certainly enthralling. And some serious questions were answered. Tenerife were excellent. They can be proud of their performance as they backed up the fine win over Real Valladoild with another gutsy display against a high flying side.

Young Cristo Diaz once again showed what a fine prospect he is by effortlessly filling the boots of the suspended Aitor Sanz and he was the soul of the team. Tenerife refused to be bullied and weathered the early Las Palmas storm.

I’ve written before about how one dimensional Las Palmas are, and they really do have no plan B. It took Tenerife ten minutes to snuff out the fast start and once they worked out how the hosts would play, they really never looked in any trouble.

Sure, Las Palmas had a couple of good free kicks, but so does every side.

Tenerife boss Raul Agne caused a surprise by dropping top scorer Diego Ifran with Gran Canarian born lump Aridane taking his place. The idea worked a treat as Aridane was used to hold up the ball and for once he ruffled a few defenders feathers. This enabled the improving Maxi Lopez to nip down the channels.

And it was one such run that gave Tenerife the lead four minutes into the second half. And it all started in the Tenerife box. Jonathan Viera has had a nightmare return to the club and he pulled up short chasing a ball into the Tenerife box. He crumbled into a heap and started crying like a baby as he held his torn hamstring.

It took a full two minutes for him to be substituted and when Momo finally came on Las Palmas were still reorganising themselves. Tenerife took advantage and a static Las Palmas defence was caught with a through ball. Maxi was on to it in a flash, taking the ball away from the defender, and then poking it past the onrushing Casto in goal. With previously unseen composure he finished the job off to send the 1,000 Tenerife fans into delirium.

It was a smart finish from a player who seems to have found a bit of confidence at last.

Alas the lead lasted only four minutes. From Las Palmas only corner of the afternoon Hernan leapt like the proverbial salmon to glance the ball past Dani and into the roof of the net.

It was a fine response from the league leaders and should have signalled an onslaught. But it never came. Carlos Ruiz and Albizua were rock sold at the back while our own pitbull Raul Camara was snarling away at every attacker. The spirit in the left back is admiral. And then there is Dani Hernandez.

He has been a revelation in goal since joining in the transfer window. He is what we have been missing since Sergio Aragoneses’ fall out with the board in October 2013. While young Carlos Abad is still getting over a knee problem, Dani has come in and become a rock.

His form has caught the eye of Venezuela manager Noel Sanvicente and he has been called up for the matches with Peru and Jamaica at the end of the month. This means he will miss the trip to Barcelona B.

The point keeps Tenerife out of the drop zone and gives them all the confidence in the world against some very winnable matches. This weekend Leganes are in Santa Cruz and they have had a stellar season. They had won the four matches before bumping into promotion chasing Girona last week. But all those wins were against sides in the bottom half of the table.

Their winning streak coincided with the loan signing of Chuli in the transfer window. That’s the same Chuli who Tenerife tried so hard to capture in January!

Tenerife welcome back Aitor Sanz after his suspension and he is chomping at the bit “I’m raring to go” he said. “It was hard watching the Derby match as everyone wanted to play. But we got the job done. Cristo Diaz is a very good player. He listens and he does things correctly. That is important in a younger player. And I think you can see how much we want to do well. We will keep this going and I am confident for this weekend.”

After this weekend Tenerife hit a run of matches that will define the season. Recreativo, Osasuna and Barcelona B are all struggling and if Tenerife can get a few wins there, they will be safe for another season.

Short URL: http://www.canarianweekly.com/?p=25416

Posted by on Mar 6 2015. 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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