First Division - Day 34

Tenerife 2 - Betis 1

Tenerife: Julio Iglesias; Antonio Hidalgo, Mustafá, Alexis, Bermudo (Basedas 70'); Martí, Bino, Lussenhoff, Xisco (Jordi 63'); Bichi Fuertes (Jaime 82'), Bruno Marioni. 4-4-2.
Betis: Prats; Tais (Gudjonsson 77'), Belenguer, Juanito, Luis Fernández (Mingo 75'); Ito, Benjamín; Joaquín, Capi, Denilson; Dani (Amato 37'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Tenerife: Antonio Hidalgo, Lussenhoff, Xisco, Bruno Marioni for Basavilbaso, Jaime, Javi Venta, Iván Ania / Betis: Tais, Belenguer for Filipescu, Rivas.

0-1. 05. Denilson. Header from close up after Joaquín crossed in from right.
1-1. 58. Bino. Took pass from Xisco and slid ball past keeper from wide on left.
2-1. 74. Bichi Fuertes. Headed down into net after Mustafá laid back Jordi free kick

Tenerife kept in touch with their immediate relegation rivals after coming from behind to beat Betis. With three players suspended and several injured, Javier Clemente was forced to change his side around, although Bichi Fuertes was allowed to play after the superior disciplinary body postponed his one match ban pending a hearing. The absences meant another new line up in defence, and Betis took advantage of their lack of coordination to open the scoring in the fifth minute, Denilson getting his name on the scoresheet with a rare header after Joaquín left Bermudo for dead down the right wing. The young Spanish international almost added his name to Denilson's a few minutes later when his chipped shot hit the foot of the post, and Lussenhoff had to clear off the line from Benjamín with the keeper beaten. However the visitors received a blow when Dani limped off after Alexis trod on his ankle from behind, and the young striker will probably miss Spain's under-21 match midweek.

Tenerife had not shown much in reply in the first half, with their best effort coming from Fuertes which Prats blocked with his legs. However after the break they were a different side, and Xisco hit the post following Marioni's corner. It seemed a matter of time, and a few minutes later the young on-loan Valencia forward combined to set up Bino to level the scores. Betis needed a win to keep up their challenge for a Champions League spot, and Capi and Benjamín both came close as the visitors came forward. However Bichi Fuertes delighted the crowd heading home the winner a quarter of an hour from the end to take a much needed three points. Unfortunately for them none of their immediate rivals lost, but they are still only three points away from safety and there is still time (Real Madrid permitting) to pull clear. Betis stay in sixth place with the consolation that none of the teams below them did any better. They are however now four points away from fourth spot, and may have to make do with the UEFA cup next season. Still that is not so bad for a first season back in the top flight.