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LANZAROTE 3 UD IBARRA 0, 8th May 2016,
The Rojillos finished their final home league match of the season with an impressive win and in doing so have made it two complete seasons without defeat on home soil.
More importantly this win lifts Lanzarote into second spot and as long as they win next Sunday away in Tenerife versus bottom club Atlético Granadilla then they shall remain second. This will give the Rojillos a lower placed side in the playoffs and also the second leg will be played at home.
The Rojillos looked intent on scoring from the very beginning wanting to end their run of two games both ending scoreless.
UD Ibarra had begun the season well and for several weeks were league leaders before slipping away early in the New Year and are now mid table. In the early part of the match the Tenerife side kept a well organised defence and were a constant threat on the break.
In the 16th minute a one two with Rosmen and Toñito allowed the latter a strike at goal but the keeper did well saving with his feet.
The Rojillos Mister consistent, goalkeeper Agoney, produced a good save in the 32nd minute when an effort was bound for the top right hand corner but the Lanzarote number one made no drama with the save as many a lesser keeper would have.
Two minutes later and striker Mauri typified his season by closing down a defender on the left wing and winning possession of the ball which he had no right to, the Colombian immediately fed his captain Rosmen who turned a defender and from eight yards walloped the ball home into the right hand corner to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes before half time the visitors had a great opportunity to level the score, a ball was whipped in from the left wing but from six yards Ex Real Madrid player Sandro could not wrap his foot around the ball so his effort sailed over the crossbar.
Only three minutes into the second period and Toñito tripped striker Balduino in what he thought was just outside the area however the ref viewed this differently and pointed to the penalty spot.
Striker Manzi stepped up and shot low into the left hand corner but Agoney got a strong hand on the ball producing an excellent save and just conceded a corner kick.
The Rojillos had had their warning and now played with much more intensity. In the 55th minute defender Miguel Gómez broke down the left and released Rosmen, the tall striker fed Toñito and from the edge of the area the Lanzarote winger let rip only to see his effort come off the meat of the left hand post and away to safety.
Two minutes on and Rosmen again forced the keeper into a good save from a shot just inside the area as his side piled on the pressure.
On the hour mark the gutsy Mauri broke down the left wing and was held and almost rugby tackled by a defender though the ref intelligently played the advantage but the strikers cross was cleared. So much has been said about the poor refereeing over the season but today’s man in the middle Señor Jiménez did allow the game to flow and only brandished three forced yellow cards however it was a surprise that he did not then give a yellow to the culprit of the rugby tackle when the play had stopped, this was a minor blemish on an immaculate game played by him and his assistants.
A clever pass by Marcos Cabrera in the 66th minute allowed Toñito to do what he loves doing, attacking his defender. The veteran winger flew past the static defender and was completely uprooted making it an easy decision for the ref to blow for a penalty kick. Rosmen thrashed the ball down the centre to give his side breathing space with a 2-0 advantage.
With 15 minutes remaining sub Javi Mélian was clearly upended in the penalty area but the ref with the whistle in his mouth ready to blow waited that vital second and Mauri latched onto the vacant ball, rounded the keeper and fired into the net for a well deserved personal goal and a more reflective score line of 3-0.
The Lanzarote defence remained firm all afternoon and with January signing Acai refusing to be second best to any ball in his vicinity the Tenerife strikers ran out of energy and ideas.
Lanzarote had done their job and now waited to see what was happening with Las Palmas B away versus Tenerife B. There is no love lost between these two clubs and as the game headed into the 90th minute with the score 2-2 it looked as though Las Palmas B had that point to keep them in the driving spot for a second placed finish.
In the final minute of the match Ex Las Palmas player and native Ale Pipo who had been released by Las Palmas last season after he had suffered a cruciate ligament injury popped up with the winner. With that goal he replaced his old club with Lanzarote who are now in the driving seat for that all important second placed finish.
Gran Canarian side UD Villa Santa Brígida are Champions with their six point lead at the top but Lanzarote cannot take anything for granted as they could still end up in fourth spot as there are just two points between second and fourth place. Las Palmas B look good for three points next week as they host lowly but safe CD Marino whilst Tenisca are away versus our southern friends Yaiza.
The draw for the playoffs takes place on the 16th May with the first match being played on the 22nd May and the return leg a week later. We will have to wait till next Sunday to see what position Lanzarote finish in.