Extremadura UD 1 CD Tenerife 0 TWO defeats in a row have plunged Tenerife back into the league’s relegation battle in 18th place, just three points ahead of Lugo as they face an uphill struggle to survive the rest of the season, and maintain their Segunda División place. On paper, a visit to Extremadura was always going to be tricky, because both teams are at the wrong end of the table. But it was also a “must win” match that saw both have chances they didn’t take, and only the home team’s finishing separated them. The opening minutes saw both teams frantic, Tenerife trying to avoid conceding an early goal, as they have in their two previous encounters, and Extremadura trying to start fast with home advantage. Roberto Olabe, on the right, and Perea, on the left, sought to open the scoring, but the CDT defence, and Dani in goal, were up for the challenge and avoided any danger. Milla even had a chance from an early corner, but to no avail. The game entered a phase of alternate attacks, but the breakthrough came for the home team in the 24th minute, when Jorge Sáenz and Undabarrena tried to stop Kike Márquez breaking through on goal, giving Extremadura a free-kick, and Sáenz a yellow card in the process. It was Márquez who stepped up to take the set-piece and scored a wonder goal from 30 yards out, beating the wall and Dani at his near post, with a glorious strike. The rest of the half didn’t see too much action, although Extremadura had a chance to double their lead when Olabe was one on one with Dani. But on this occasion, the goalkeeper came out on top, and the teams went into half-time trailing by the one goal. The second half saw Extremadura frustrate Tenerife, as they were happy to sit in possession and protect their lead. It meant that Tenerife had to take a few risks, to try to force something to happen. In the 58th minute, this ploy nearly came to fruition as Nano chased the ball into the corner of the area and released a shot that smashed against a post and rebounded across the open goal, but then to safety! Just after this, it went from bad to worse for Tenerife as Jorge Sáenz was involved in a second challenge with Kike Márquez, resulting in a second yellow card, which meant he was taking an early bath. With Tenerife a man fewer, Extremadura were keen to dominate, but the visitors refused to give up, and the last 30 minutes were end-to-end, with chances for Montañes, who shot wide, and Olabe in the closing seconds, who put the ball over the bar. At the final whistle, the difference in teams was evident to see: jubilation for Extremadura, who had registered their fourth victory in a row, and despair for Tenerife, who had again battled bravely but had fallen short. Their run-in for the last six games is difficult, starting tomorrow in one of the biggest games of the season, away in Gran Canaria against the old enemy, Las Palmas. In any derby, the form book goes out of the window, and it could be just what Tenerife need to kick-start a good run of results to secure safety at the end of the season… well, hopefully anyway!
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