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Segunda División: CD Tenerife 2-2 FC Barcelona B: Match Review

CD Tenerife and FC Barcelona B shared the spoils on Sunday in a game we might in the future look back at and talk about because of debuts of promising youngsters Denis Suarez and Joan Campins.

This might be an old picture, but this is the B team's newest player
This might be an old picture, but this is the B team's newest player
Alex Livesey

After a poor first half Barcelona B improved mightily in the second half, but it was only enough for the club's first away point of the season. Luismi Loro opened the scoring for Tenerife, but goals from Javier Espinosa and Dani Nieto put Barça in front in the second half. However, the Catalans were unable to hold on to the lead with Aridane Santana scoring the last goal of the game.

Starting XI: Jordi Masip; Patric, Carles Planas, Frank Bagnack, Lucas Gafarot; Ilie Sanchez, Javier Espinosa, Pol Calvet; Dani Nieto, Sandro Ramirez, Joan Angel Roman

Bench: Adrian Ortola, Xavier Quintilla, Joan Campins, Sergi Samper, Denis Suarez, Munir El Haddadi

Coach Eusebio Sacristan had many selection problems for this game as he was missing several of his usual starters. Jean Marie Dongou, Sergi Gomez, David Babunski and Antonio Sanabria were away on international duty, while Edgar Ie, Edu Bedia and Adama Traore were unavailable due to injury. However, despite all those missing players star-prospects Suarez and Samper again weren't able to crack the starting lineup.

It took the home side only about a minute to create their first golden opportunity of the game, but Masip was up to the early task. Tenerife continued with good pressure and ten minutes later Aridane stole the ball from Bagnack, but Masip was able to keep the ball out of the net. In the 16th minute Masip had to make another strong save, this one on Christo Martin who fired a powerful drive on goal.

Barcelona B struggled to cope with the hosts' constant pressure, both with and without the ball. Their passes often missed the mark which led to many Tenerife attacks that the Barça defense could do little to stop. Even Bagnack struggled to make plays on defense. Tenerife came into this game without a single goal scored this season, but the way they were playing it was just a matter of time before they did in this game.

It appeared that it was going to happen in the 23rd minute when Suso Santana cleanly beat Planas to the ball and went alone toward Masip. The Barcelona B goalkeeper, however, had different plans as he again prevented the home side's celebrations.

Despite the consistent pressure Tenerife had to wait until the 37th minute for their next scoring chance. But it was worth the wait. The referee whistled for an indirect free kick about three feet inside the penalty box. Suso tipped the ball to Loro who powered it past Masip just inside the far post for the Canary Island based team's first goal of the season.

The remainder of the first half was largely uneventful with neither team creating anything noteworthy. Going into halftime Barcelona B could count themselves very lucky to be trailing only by one goal because Tenerife outplayed them in just about every phase of the game. Had it not been for some excellent saves by Masip the hosts would've had the game in the bad already after 45 minutes.

Realizing that his team needed somebody to stabilize the midfield Eusebio made probably the only good choice he made all game - he replaced Calvet with Suarez who made his B team debut. And the substitution was just the first sign of good things to come. 30 seconds after the restart Espinosa made Tenerife pay for their indecisiveness in defense as he fired a left-footed shot that beat Sergio Aragoneses and tied the game.

Tenerife came close to replying immediately after, but Loro's free kick from the right side whistled past the near post. But fans didn't have to wait long for the next goal of the game, however, much to their dismay, it was scored in their team's net. Suarez led a quick counter and passed the ball to Roman who brilliantly back-heeled it to Sandro. The striker sent a low cross out the reach of the goalkeeper and to the wide open Nieto who made no mistake from close range to complete the comeback less than five minutes into the second half.

Barcelona B continued with their rejuvenated play, and it was clear that the addition of Suarez made Barça a much better team. But the hosts weren't going to go quietly into the night, and in the 55th minute Masip was called into action and again he was able make the save. Eight minutes later Suso once again attempted to beat the Barcelona goalkeeper, but Masip one more time won that battle.

Then Barça B went back on the offensive, but this time it was Aragoneses' turn to make a save. Roman made a nice move to win himself enough space to take the shot only to see it be stopped by the diving goalkeeper. A couple minutes later Espinosa made a good run from the left side, but didn't get enough on the ball to threaten to extend the lead.

The score, though, did change about half a minute later, in the 69th minute. Aridane received a an excellent cross inside Barcelona's box, however, it appeared that Planas had his man covered pretty well. But the former U-21 international reacted terribly, causing him to slide out of position which allowed Aridane more then enough space to beat the helpless Masip and tie the game at two.

Eusebio reacted immediately to the goal making one of the most questionable substitutions in his Barcelona B career (which is saying something). Sandro, the only striker on the pitch, was replaced by Samper, a natural defensive midfielder, even though Ilie was still on the pitch. I imagined the next substitution, which came six minutes later, would bring some clarity but (of course) it didn't as right-back Campins, who was also making his B team debut, replaced left-back Gafarot. Even though Campins has just about no experience on the left side of the defense he was forced to play there despite the fact Planas is a natural left-back and Patric has had some experience at both center back and left-back. You do the math...

Teams exchanged a handful of half chances over the last 15 minutes of the game, but neither team showed any urgency in attack as it appeared both sides were happy with the draw. With the picked up point Barcelona B remain in seventh place on the league table with seven points. Next up for Barcelona B is the Mini El Clasico which will be played on Sunday at the Mini Estadi.

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