Villarreal beat Tenerife (0-1) by the smallest of margins thanks to a piece of Fer Niño magic in the last minute of the game. A great back-heeled goal by the striker gave the Yellows the victory at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López, sealing the teams place in the Round of 16 of the Copa del Rey.
Unai Emery decided to line up with a number of rotations for the cup tie with CD Tenerife, with a starting XI with a number of novelties. Jaume Costa played at right-back, Francis Coquelin returned to the starting line-up after leaving his muscular problems behind him, while Dani Raba started at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López in what was the first time he had been named in the starting line-up this season.
Villarreal did not take any time to start dominating in the Canary Islands. The Yellows took control of the ball, combining skilfully in the opposition’s half. Despite that, Emery’s side were unable to translate that superiority into clear goalscoring chances during the first half.
For the home side, there was only one chance in the opening 45 minutes. With 18 minutes on the clock, Apeh’s reader was saved easily by Gero Rulli.
After the break, Villarreal notably improved in attack. The Yellows had the first real chance of the game, when Raba’s header from an Álex Baena cross was saved magnificently at point-black range by the CD Tenerife goalkeeper.
At the hour mar, Emery looked to the bench, making a triple substitution to try and change the outcome of the match. Gerard Moreno, Dani Parejo and Rubén Peña came onto the pitch, replacing Raba, Baena and Costa.
After the changes, the next big chance fell to Carlos Bacca, who could have put the Yellows ahead with a powerful effort from the edge of the box which was pushed away by Dani Hernández. Tenerife were looking to the wings and balls in the air to try and get ahead.
As the 90 minutes were coming to an end, the match became frenetic, with both teams looking for the matchwinner. In the 90th minute, Rulli made a fantastic save to stop Pomares, who got into the box after a long ball. Only three minutes from the end of normal time, Yeremy Pino hit the post after getting his head on a Juan Foyth cross.
Just when the match appeared to be going to extra time, Fer Niño surprised everyone with a magnificent effort. With his back to the goal, the striker got on the end of a Gerard header, bringing it down, and in the heart of the box, back-heeling it into the back of the net. It was a goal that meant victory for Villarreal, and sealed the Yellows place in the next round of the Copa del Rey, the last 16.
CD Tenerife: Dani Hernández; Shaq Moore (Kakabadze, m. 73), Carlos Ruiz, Bruno Wilson, Pomares; Álex Bermejo (Álex Muñoz, m. 66), Aitor Sanz, Javi Alonso, Vada (Suso Santana, m. 86); Apeh (Zarfino, m. 66), Fran Sol.
Villarreal CF: Rulli; J. Costa (R. Peña, m. 60), Foyth, Funes Mori, Estupiñán; Coquelin (Capoue, m 84), M. Trigueros, Álex B. (Parejo, m. 60), Dani Raba (Gerard, m. 60), Bacca (F. Niño, m. 75), Yeremy.
Goals: 0-1. Min. 89: Fer Niño.
Referee: Soto Grado. Booked: Vada (CD Tenerife).
Matchday information: Match between CD Tenerife and Villarreal CF, corresponding to the Copa Del Rey Round of 32 at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López. Before kick-off, there was a minute’s silence in memory of former CD Tenerife manager, Vicente Cantatore.