How low is low? For CD Tenerife fans it seems that as soon as we think it can’t get any worse it does, this 1-0 home defeat to Villareal B drew just 8,600 fans, half of what we were getting a month ago. In the week leading up to the game there were calls for fans to boycott the first 10 minutes in protest but many didn’t show at all and another inept display left the rest of us wondering why we bothered.
It’s two months since the last win and relegation looks certain. The mood of the hard core fans has changed, they came not to praise the players but to bury them. Normally Tenerife make a bright start before fading but this time they looked poor from the off; sloppy passes, half hearted tackles, no ideas, and not much effort. Villareal arrived on a downward trend but the Heliodoro stadium is no longer a fortress, more like a gift shop. Teams know they can sit back and bide their time and grab goals on the break. Falque nearly took the lead after 10 minutes but couldn’t punish the slow home defence.
It’s got so bad that central defender Luna was replaced after just 22 minutes, he had an early booking and we can’t trust our players not to get sent off, his replacement Melli experienced the same tactical withdrawal in the last home game. Villareal stepped up a gear after 32 minutes and scored on the break through crisp passing and an eye for goal that saw Falque grab the lead. Nino, home captain for the day, went close just before the break but saw his shot drift wide with no one on hand to tap it in.
The normally animated Grada Popular end of the ground was seated in near silence for the second half. Natalio came on for Omar but made little difference. Iriome (top pic) created a few chances but his last touch let him down and his penalty appeal after going down in the box was more hopeful than confident.
The only bright spot these days comes in small bursts from emerging Venezuelan player Josmar (below), he took to the field after 66 minutes and immediately caused the visitors problems. The tricky forward is a breath of fresh air among the foul stench of defeat and decay that hangs over the Santa Cruz ground, he is a bit light weight and bundled off the ball easily but he can beef up a bit, the raw talent is clearly there and has already been noticed by several Primera spies.
Even Nino is getting ground down by the constant defeats, he squared up to Dutra after the Villareal man bundled him over. There was no sign of salvaging the day. Nino set up Natalio with 10 minutes left but he couldn’t finish and Julio’s injury time shot hardly troubled the visiting keeper. As chants of abuse were directed at the Tenerife players the rain came and the match fizzled out. When relegation is confirmed it will be almost a relief to us long suffering fans, they shoot horses don’t they?