Neither rain, third placed Recreativo, or a lost soul of a ref could stop the charge of CD Tenerife on the closing day of Carnaval in Santa Cruz. The 1-0 score didn’t reflect the superiority of the home team, it could easily have been a landslide.
Nine Canarians lined up for the start of the game, Moyano returned to right back, Ayoze Diaz held the left back spot and Alberto looked at home filling in at the centre of defence for the suspended Carlos Ruiz. Suso had the captains armband and relished the honour, he was at full power all game. It took just 13 minutes for a classy goal to ignite the crowd, a deep ball from Cristo found Suso who interchanged with Aridane to rip open the visiting defence and bulge the back of the net.
The rain made the surface greasy but it was Recreativo who struggled with their footing, their forwards looked poor and were kept shackled by the new look Tenerife back four. Cabrero in the Recreativo goal was a puncher rather than a catcher and worth the odd long range tester, Cristo set his boots a little high and Ricardo had the keeper scrambling to cover his chip over a free kick wall. Aridane had a strong shout for a penalty on the half hour, and Ayoze missed with a shot on the turn. Recreativo were making plenty of errors, Linares slipped in front of goal, of course we didn’t mock him – much, and their goalie skewed a clearance kick that spun wide of his own net.
The referee underwent a personality change at half time, his new outlook on the game was quite bizarre as he started to get simple calls wrong. Cabrero got better and foiled an Aridane header from Suso and then made a low diving stop from the same player. Aitor Sanz got a phantom booking early in the half then after 74 minutes he was brought down but the ref managed to give him another yellow for obstruction so he had to go. Back up goalie Diego Rivas had a go at the ref from the sidelines and got a straight red, his big mistake was getting up from the bench and arguing in the refs face.
A man down could have been a big problem if Tenerife had sat back but they were magnificent in keeping the pressure on Recreativo, Ayoze hit the bar and the post in quick succession. Ros replaced Cristo and Edgar took over from Ayoze who had overcome flu to start the game. The final minutes saw some heroic defending with Suso clearing off the goal line and Roberto taking a highball under pressure. Let’s hope the players managed to grab some well deserved fun later that night with the celebrating carnaval crowds.