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LANZAROTE 2 CF ARUCAS 1, 26th April 2015
The Rojillos have now mathematically guaranteed themselves a spot in the Playoffs to try and achieve Segunda B (League 1) status following this win in a pulsating match.
This was a tough game and huge credit must be given to the Gran Canarian side. After a superb second half of the season Arucas had pushed themselves to within two points of the playoffs and were mindset in becoming the first side to defeat Lanzarote at home this season.
To be fair Lanzarote had qualified for a playoff spot the week they won in Fuerteventura and maintaining a 10 point gap to the team in fifth spot who will miss out on the playoffs.
The game began at a fast pace with the Conejeros (Locals) dominating however the visitors caught the Rojillos off guard on the break in the 10th minute. The Lanzarote defence were on the backfoot as winger Tati centred and striker Ayoze showed no mercy blasting home from around the penalty spot to give his side a 0-1 advantage.
Lanzarote then carried on as they had began, dominating possession and looking the more threatening. Ten minutes later and the home side were level. Louis Kennedy took a short corner to fellow winger Toñito and he whipped in a powerful cross, the ball found the good fortune of hitting Rojillos defender Francis Hernández on the back and somehow sailed beautifully into the top right hand corner to make the score 1-1.
The home side had many chances to go into the half time break with the lead. Most notably a Toñito free kick from 25 yards which was destined for the top corner only to see the Gran Canarian goalkeeper to pull off a wonder one handed save. Mauri and Rosmen with a header also came close whilst the opposition offered little in attack in this first period.
Only a few minutes into the second half and striker Chicha was clear through on goal. Lanzarote keeper Agoney stood tall and produced an excellent reflex save to the relief of the home crowd.
It was quite easy to see that the Gran Canarians were going to give everything to get a result for their playoff push hopes.
Exactly the same thoughts were going through every Lanzarote´s players mind as they knew a win would push them into second spot as CD Marino had drew the night before.
Marcos Cabrera was instrumental in midfield, holding up play when necessary and instigating many of Lanzarote´s attacks. He was joined by British youngster Brad Cockerill in the centre who relishes football when it becomes a battle. Louis Kennedy and Toñito on both wings were showing some silky skills and were causing problems all over the pitch.
Things were not all going Lanzarote´s way as the visitors were giving as good as they got and were probably the best team Lanzarote have played at home this season.
In the final ten minutes as the sun poured onto the faces of the Gran Canarian players the Rojillos upped the tempo. Toñito really came into his own. A forty yard pass was in one motion controlled and touched past the defender by the veteran winger and this signalled to the rest of his team mates to give it one last surge.
In the 82nd minute an outrageous overhead kick by Rosmen hit the top of the bar and just three minutes later Mauri delivered in a great cross from the left which found his Captain and with a neat first touch Rosmen fired the ball into the back of the net from six yards sending the Rojillos into a 2-1 lead.
It was a nervous final 10 minutes with stoppage time but manager Adolfo Pérez´s young army hung on to guarantee a crack at Segunda B football.
League leaders CD Mensajero could only take a point in a goalless home draw so Lanzarote close the gap at the top to just three points with three games to play.
Whilst it would take a mini miracle to overcome the league leaders as goal difference against the two sides is worth a point to the La Palma side, you can be assured the Rojillos will still give it a go.
Playoffs become complicated. The team who finishes top will automatically qualify for next seasons Copa Del Rey and will have a match both home and away against another Tercera (fourth tier) division Champion from the mainland. The winners of this will be promoted whilst the losers drop into the playoffs with the other three sides.
It gets even more complicated now as each team will play a mainland club both home and away with the winners progressing into the next stage whilst the losers will play Tercera Division again next season. There will be one more knockout stage before a final. To progress from the playoffs and not being champions will take up to six matches.
It may be complicated and it certainly is tough but this format of promotion and relegation system works for the Spanish. Just look what they have won over the past decade.
0-1 min 10 Ayoze
1-1 min 20 Francis Hernández
2-1 min 85 Rosmen