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UD Lanzarote: Vladimir (49), Jotha (73 penalty)
Atletico Grandadilla: Javi (46)
23rd January 2012
What a fantastic, entertaining ninety minutes of football that was played in Arrecife on Sunday. Passing from both sides was exquisite, typical of Spain’s master class race of football.
The Rojillos fell behind seconds into the second half but a wonder header from Vladi and a penalty from Jotha moved Lanzarote to within three points off a playoff spot.
The Conejeros (locals) began the game the most dominant. Shots from Jotha and Ayoze were well saved by ex Lanzarote keeper Marino and in the 14th minute Ayoze´s powerful drive came thundering off the crossbar.
As the half passed by Lanzarote´s opportunities became fewer as the Tenerife side demonstrated why they were serious contenders for a playoff spot. With four wins in the last five matches Atlético Granadilla were in sixth place and just two points from the playoffs.
The first half ended goalless as the visitors began to hold some possession and managed to weather the initial Rojillo storm.
Twenty four seconds into the second half and the Tenerife side went 0-1 up. Striker Javi received the ball on the edge of the box and with the Lanzarote back four still digesting their half time cuppa the Tenerife striker turned and hit the ball with such force that if the net had been removed the ball would still be rising.
The Rojillos responded well and immediately went in search of a leveller. Four minutes later and ex Las Palmas star Gustavo García curled in a free kick from the left. The ball arrived around the penalty spot and Vladi directed his header superbly into the bottom right hand corner beating his former team mate Marino to level the score at 1-1.
The game was now electric as Lanzarote pushed on however Granadilla looked dangerous on the break with Carlitos firing in a good drive which was well saved by Rojillos keeper Ruymán.
The 73rd minute proved to be the time the match was controversially won. Toñito, causing havoc switching flanks most of the afternoon went on a chase for the ball down the left wing. The goalkeeper flew off his line and failed to make contact with the ball and the Ref adjudged that the Granadilla keeper caught Toñito as the Lanzarote winger lay sprawled out on the floor.
Marino´s protests were in vain as the Ref awarded a spot kick and brandished a second yellow card to the Granadilla keeper. What wasn’t in doubt was the resulting penalty as Jotha fired home sending his side 2-1 up.
The ten man Tenerife side fought back, just five minutes after Lanzarote had gone in front centre back Airam came close to restoring parity when his header bounced off the bar.
The Rojillos had plenty of chances to bury the match but failed to do so and when the official held up five minutes of added on time you could feel the nervousness of the home fans.
Fortunately Lanzarote defended well and hung on to secure a massive victory. The Rojillos join three other clubs in sixth spot in the table and three points from the playoffs. Next week Lanzarote will find it tough to defend their eleven game unbeaten run when they travel to Tenerife to face the club that lies three points above them and sitting in the final playoff position C.D. Vera.