Shaq Moore and Tenerife are two games away from returning to Spain’s top flight after more than a ten-year absence, as they easily beat neighbours Las Palmas to advance to the promotion playoff final.
UD Las Palmas 1 – 2 CD Tenerife (agg. 1-3)
As in the first leg, Moore played the full game on the right side for Tenerife, helping the team hold their opponents to a single goal over the 180 total minutes of the tie.
Recent American convert Samuel Shashoua was on the bench for Tenerife, but was not called into action.
Already holding a narrow one-goal advantage heading into the game, Tenerife solidified their advantage by scoring the opener in the fourth minute. Chaos in the Las Palmas area following a corner saw Enric Gallego head the ball towards goal amidst a crowd.
Even though Raúl Navas did come close to clearing it off the line, VAR confirmed that the ball had clearly crossed the goal line before the central defender kicked it away, giving the visitors the two-goal aggregate advantage.
The hosts’ hopes of a come-back were dealt a major blow late in the first half, when their star attacking midfielder Jonathan Viera was forced out with a non-contact injury.
A drawn-out VAR drama in first-half injury time saw Tenerife extend their lead and effectively put the tie on ice.
While fighting for a long throw-in, Navas errantly elbowed Victor Mollejo in the center of the area. While the referee initially elected to ignore the infraction, the VAR crew thought otherwise, eventually leading to a reversal of the non-call several minutes later, giving Tenerife a spot kick opportunity.
Gallego made no mistake on his attempt six minutes into added time, coolly putting his shot away in the lower left corner, with the ball deflecting off of the keeper’s fingertips on its way into the net.
While Las Palmas did score a consolation goal int he 71st minute, with Eric Curbelo heading in a corner from the left that was conceded by Moore, Tenerife still easily held on for the aggregate 3-1 victory.
Moore and his teammates have one more hurdle to pass before claiming their spot in Spain’s top flight, namely a two-legged final against FC Girona, who finished their series win over Eibar on Sunday night.
The first leg will take place in Girona’s Estadi Montilivi on Saturday night, followed by the return leg in Tenerife eight days later.