Sighs of relief replaced the hoped for roars of victory as CD Tenerife shared a passive 0-0 draw at Lugo. After 70 minutes it looked grim as survival rivals Rayo Mahadahonda led 1-3 at Real Oviedo. That would have condemned shot shy Tenerife to a nerve shredding final game at home to Real Zaragoza with a win their only chance of staying in the Segunda Division. All the drama came at the other game as Oviedo fought back to win 4-3, mobiles and hand signals kept the anxious players in the loop at Lugo and confirmed their Houdini act.
As a game, the goal less draw exposed all the flaws that have haunted Tenerife all season, silly errors, no cohesion, and poor finishing. The passion of injured Captain Suso was sorely missed, the calming influence of Jorge was also absent due to suspension, and the undoubted midfield talent of Racic was left on the bench after a night club appearance on social media when he was out injured. Carlos Ruiz kept his place in the centre of defence and made a well timed clearance from a Viera raid in the opening minutes. Alberto showed his defensive qualities when he blocked his former Tenerife team mate Iriome
Isma Lopez was back in midfield, he added width on the Tenerife left and forced a save from the home goalie. Right back Luis Perez tried a lob shot from midfield but it fizzled out when it reached the keeper. Left back Hector Hernandez also had attacking thoughts and tested the goalie with a hanging cross. Lugo, also fighting relegation, came more into the game, after Alberto lost the ball, Herrera tried to tuck a shot inside Dani Hernandez but found him at his best. The away goalie was sharp again to deny a crisp shot from Lazo. The best Tenerife move of the game came from Malbasic, he easily beat Luis Ruiz in midfield and threaded his way past two defenders before unleashing a fierce shot that the home goalie tipped over the bar. Nano also had a half chance but slipped as he shaped up for a shot that went high of the target.
Lugo turned up the pressure, Luis Ruiz flashed a shot just wide of the Tenerife post. Naranjo tripped over his own feet just before the break, another reminder of his paltry six goal haul this season. The second half saw more tense moments as Carlos Ruiz tidied up another Lugo raid. Lazo conjured a home chance out of nothing but his cross cum shot went begging as team mates were too slow to add a touch into the net. Every minute that passed was another turn of the screw for both sides. Nano hit a soft shot at the home goalie before being subbed. It was a crucial moment, Mahadahonda’s had just taken a 1-3 lead and Tenerife needed to attack and go for a win. Coach Sampedro made the wrong switch, striker Coniglio has been even less inspiring than Nano and a midfielder or defender should have been going off. Coniglio is at least consistent, a good cross from the right picked him out but he didn´t even get near to putting it in the goal.
Milla wasted a short corner as the deficit was reduced at Oviedo. Montañes replaced Lopez, and Dani missed an easy high cross to make the nerves jangle a bit more. It´s difficult to criticise Dani, a few glaring errors have crept into the Venezuelan international number ones game but he has saved Tenerife so many times. A probing Lugo cross in the 84th minute was expertly cut out by Dani just before Racic took over from his fellow Serbian, Malbasic. Crowd excitement alerted the players to the equalising goal at Oviedo as both games went into injury time. Tenerife heard the final whistle first and agonising seconds later the last gasp Mahadahonda winner and full time seeped through. Even Hitchcock or Spielberg would have struggled to come up with anything so dramatic. The Tenerife players joy may be short lived, many seem to expect cosmetic summer tinkering to the squad, but a ruthless cull is needed, and there is no shortage of candidates for the exit door.