Reinventing themselves means smashing a few old barriers, poor away form was always a problem for CD Tenerife but 4 points from an early Sunday start in Albacete, and a Thursday evening at Elche was a massive boost.
Finding their groove, CD Tenerife were easy like a Sunday morning as they romped to a 0-4 win at Albacete. Easy on the eye wth cool, assured team play, there were towering performances all over the pitch. Coach Aritz Lopez Garai was purring as his plans came together thanks to the inclusion of two more summer signings.
Ramon Mierez started as the central striker and led the line confidently, and Alex Munoz made his bow in the centre of defence and was a calming influence on those around him. The reshuffle saw Malbasic out on the right, his opening minute run and cross caused havoc in the home defence for Alex Bermejo to finish the move clinically for a goal to add to his previous weeks eye catching performance. Munoz is also experienced in the left back berth and covered well to release Robert Mazan for some lightning raids. There was only 13 minutes on the clock when a Borja Lasso corner from the right flew over to a deep left position where Mazon cracked a quality goal into the bottom corner of the net. Albacete had their moments, a high right cross looked threatening before goalie Adrian Ortola plucked the ball out of the air one handed. This was dreamland, even when Malbasic had a hesitant shot blocked as unmarked Borja Lasso was screaming for the pass, it was a mere wrinkle in the master plan.
Into the second half, Ortola robbed a danger ball off a home forwards head, and Mierez hit a post as the work rate never relented. Borja was typical of the effort the Tenerife players were pouring in, he unlocked the hosts defence and Mierez sneaked in for a cheeky close header that even VAR couldn´t deny to make it 0-3 after 72 minutes. Tenerife had the luxury of being able to give substitute run outs to two more of the summer brigade. Dani Gomez beat his marker and drilled his shot between defenders to round up the scoring just prior to the end of normal time. Nahuel Leiva, a left winger who squeezed in just before the transfer window closed, also got a brief taste of the action to bring competition for all places a step nearer. This was one of the most impressive Tenerife displays for many years.
Moving on to Elche, hopes were high but the home side, inspired by ex Tenerife goal legend Nino, gave them a tough start. Luis Milla returned from suspension to allow veteran midfielder Aitor Sanz a rest. Nino forced a corner after 8 minutes and Quasma got a boot in behind Carlos Ruiz to grab a home lead. Tenerife lost their shape briefly but rallied with Malbasic strong down the right and Alberto dominant in midfield. A delightful cross field ball from left back Mazan to righ back Luis Perez deserved a decent finish but the best chance came near the end of the first half. A Luis Milla free kick dropped into a crowded goal mouth and Alex Munoz got a head to it but the ball skidded out off the post.
Dani Gomez replaced Mierez for the second half and revitalised the away chase. After 63 minutes another Malbasic cross was met by a powerful Borja header to level the score. Tenerife bossed the remainder of the game, Alex Bermejo had a couple of golden moments, only the goalies faint touch stopped the best one. Elche appealed for a hand ball and penalty with 15 minutes to go but the hairs on the hand of Carlos Ruiz got no more than a passing breeze, and the VAR call confirmed that. Ortola´s confident interception of a cross in the 5 minutes of injury time sealed a deserved point and continued a surge in the right direction.