Each Friday at Puerto del Carmen Market (10am-2pm) and Sundays at Teguise Market (10am-2pm) all info and merchandise can be obtained from Ian at the Clubs Stall
LANZAROTE 2 U.D. IBARRA 1, 18th February 2018,
The Rojillos just about kept alive their hopes of a playoff finish to Segunda B (League 1) after beating promotion chasing rivals U.D. Ibarra on a glorious Sunday afternoon, the night after Puerto Del Carmen Carnival.
Some of the local fans were dressed up in Carnival outfits and with a pirate and a man in a Tutu on your side it would have been inconceivable for Lanzarote to lose.
The late 4.30pm kick off and with Carnival the night before was the cause for a low fan turnout but the people who were there made enough noise to compensate that and were rewarded with a highly entertaining game of football.
Prior to kick off a minutes silence was observed for the death of the wife of Lanzarote´s old kit man Augustín Hernández. Augustín worked with the club for 37 years and was such a help in my early days with UD Lanzarote. From myself and my wife Anna as well as all who follow the Rojillos, Rest In Peace Carmen.
The home side looked the better of the two teams in the opening exchanges but the fans had to wait until 25 minutes into the match for the first strike on target.
The wait was absolutely worth it. A corner floated in from the left was brought down by today’s captain Javi Betancort, his strike from a narrow angle was palmed away by the keeper, the ball eventually fell to Enrique Castaño and from 25 yards the midfielder hit an instant half volley from 25 yards as sweet as you could possibly hit a ball and saw it rise and settle into the top left hand corner to give his side a 1-0 advantage.
Lanzarote were on top and didn’t allow their strikers any sniff at goal and were playing some good football, however going into the break with just a goal to the good against a team that has a chance of being promoted to professional football was never going to be enough.
The game continued to have that good tempo to it as temperatures in Arrecife started to slowly drop from the mid 20 degrees at the beginning of the second period.
The Rojillos still edged possession and went in search of that goal to give them breathing space. On the hour mark they thought they had just done that when a cross whipped in from the left was stroked home by striker Rosmen. Waving his flag in the distance was an official cancelling out his effort for what must have been a narrow offside.
Two minutes later and a through ball from Miguel Gómez sent Alex Cruz on his way. The Lanzarote striker did well to bring the ball under control and as he released his strike from eight yards a defender slid in and didn’t touch the ball and appeared to take the legs of the Rojillos front man, penalty appeals were waived away by the Ref as the Tenerife side began to get back into the match.
In the 70th minute the Lanzarote defence was breached and number seven Sandro found himself with a free strike on goal from just eight yards, inexcusably the striker blasted over to the relief of the fast growing tipsy crowd enjoying their small beer for one Euro.
Unfortunately the Rojillos didn’t learn their lesson from that warning and just two minutes later the same thing happened with the exception that Sandro made no mistake for his side and levelled to make the score 1-1.
Both sides were desperate for the win to close the gap on the top four and the game became so open with chances at either end.
With nine minutes remaining good work from midfielder Borja who had switched to the right wing beat his defender and sent a low cross into the centre of the penalty area, Ibarra sub Pablo somehow wrapped his foot around the ball and fired it into the right hand corner completely wrong footing his keeper for an own goal and restore Lanzarote´s lead at 2-1.
This all led to a nervy final ten minutes but Lanzarote weathered the storm and held out to win a priceless three points.
It is still a huge ask for the Rojillos to make the playoffs as they occupy seventh spot and trail fourth place by nine points though they do have a game in hand. Next week Lanzarote travel to Tenerife and face 12th placed side CD Buzanada.
Lanzarote´s other clubs had a mixed day with Yaiza winning 1-0 at home with the winner coming in the 92nd minute versus second from bottom CD Vera though Haría once again lost 3-0 away to relegation rivals Guimar and are rooted to the bottom and are a massive ten points from safety.