The Rojillos made a winning start to the 2023/24 campaign against newly promoted UD Teror. Lanzarote always looked comfortable against the Gran Canarian side and should have won this match with ease however the home crowd had to endure an anxious final 10 minutes before they could celebrate their first win.
The opening match in each season is always difficult. In the nine matches that were played there were four draws and five wins with only CF Arucas winning with a two goal cushion.
In attendance on Sunday at Ciudad Deportiva was ex Argentina and Barcelona legend Javier Saviola who had flew in especially to support his friend Rojillos manager Leonel “Pipa” Gancedo and was presented with a memento and a UD Lanzarote shirt by captain Raúl and UD Lanzarote general manager César Saavedra.
The Rojillos completely dominated the first half and had countless opportunities to bury the match by halftime. In the 9th minute new boy Santiago Rosa saw his effort strike the bar and a few minutes later local lad Ale Fuentes blasted from the edge of the box only to see his shot thunder off the crossbar.
UD Teror keeper was having an outstanding match and produced further good saves from Rosa and then on the half hour from Di Renzo. In the 34th minute defender Chucky Pierce headed superbly across goal but unfortunately no Rojillo player read the situation for an easy nod home at the far post.
Finally in the 37th minute Lanzarote got their reward for such positive play. Winger Ismael Traoré created space for himself inside the box and fired in a powerful strike and even though the keeper valiantly got a hand on the ball it was not enough as Lanzarote scored their first goal of the season and went into the break 1-0 up.
Early on in the second half Di Renzo forced keeper Abdou into another good save, then just after the hour mark a surging run down the right and along the by-line by Alex Cruz who then supplied a deadly low cross which was turned in to his own goal by defender Ángel Luis to send Lanzarote 2-0 up.
With 10 minutes remaining and with little threat on the Rojillos goal all afternoon the visitors were awarded a penalty when the ball struck the hand of central defender Chucky Pierce. Rubén Santana made no mistake from the spot and it was game on at 2-1.
UD Teror managed to find an extra surge of energy in the midday Lanzarote heat and tried to force a draw but Lanzarote withstood the pressure to earn the win.
Next Sunday Lanzarote travel on the ferry to Fuerteventura and face UD Gran Tarajal who themselves earned a very credible away draw versus CD Tenerife B in their opening match.
1-0 min 37 Ismael Traoré
2-0 min 62 Ángel Luis (own goal)
2-1 min 80 Rubén Santana (penalty)