The linesman was on a loser, even at 1-0 down on the day and five minutes to go his pleas to the CD Tenerife bench to sit down were wasted – they were ready to taste promotion. The late away goal for Hospitalet in the 3-1 first leg win in Santa Cruz should have reminded us that it’s never that easy and a defensive lapse to give Cirio a 55th minute goal had strained the nerves. The wide open defence will be forgiven as they had an otherwise outstanding game and Aridane’s two missed sitters also pale away compared to his 25 goals this season, but it did all make for a nail biting, gut grabbing finish.
Tenerife’s tactic of containment in the first half had worked well all season and at a goal less half time it looked spot on again. Both sides had chances, Sergio Aragoneses was on top of his game to deny a header from Angel and reacted well to snuff out a Hospitalet shot after Bruno had missed a tackle. Bacari was the home sides most dangerous player as he had been in Santa Cruz, he wasn’t just a scoring threat, his high studs in Ros’s chest were like something from a martial arts movie and team mate Viale was lucky to avoid a red card after a childish slap to Cristo Martin’s face.
Bruno showed his better qualities to shield the ball back to Sergio as Bacari threatened at the opening of the second half. The defence was all over the place though for the goal after 55 minutes, Bacari worked his way past three static defenders and set up Cirio to score. Another unanswered home goal would have won the promotion place, thankfully Tenerife decided to chase the game rather than sit back. Suso came on for Cristo and Ayoze for Chechu. Aridane had another good chance, this time he hit it straight at the keeper and Suso hesitated when he should have shot, allowing a defender to get a foot in the way.
The last 20 minutes were agony to watch at home, the 1,300 CDT fans in the stadium did us proud and kept the vocals going as Tenerife forced a couple of late corners and Hospitalet launched one last assault in injury time that Sergio cleared with calm nerves. The ref blew the whistle and the Tenerife bench emptied onto the pitch but it was for a free kick so they had to withdraw for a few more excruciating seconds. The next whistle really was it and all the emotions spilled out as the celebrations began. Good bye Segunda B, it’s been interesting but we hope not to see you again or your early morning kick offs and agricultural pitches.
In the evening I headed for the airport and in the company of almost 2,000 delirious fans we welcomed the team back from their charter flight. The reception was amazing and left a lot of visitors impressed at what a show the tourist board had put on just for their benefit. The joy on the fans and players faces made all the set backs in Segunda B worthwhile, even President Concepcion managed a smile – or was that wind. The home game against the other promoted side Alaves for the Segunda B overall title should be another party and then the planning begins to ensure we are competitive back at the higher level. It’s going to be a good summer.