Shibasaki goal sends Tenerife into promotion playoff final


Gaku Shibasaki netted a vital equalizer and steered Tenerife to the promotion playoff final in the Spanish second tier on Sunday as the club secured a 1-1 aggregate draw with Cadiz, enough to see it through.

The former Kashima Antlers midfielder, who grabbed headlines with his brace against Real Madrid at the Club World Cup final in December, placed home a low cross from the right in the 34th minute for his first goal in front of his home fans.

Tenerife, which lost the first leg 1-0, won the return match by the same scoreline and played out a scoreless extra 30 minutes to book a final berth after it finished the regular season in fourth, a place above Cadiz.

“(Shibasaki) is a man who gives us time,” manager Jose Luis Marti told the club’s website. “He’s a player with a lot of quality. He has the calmness to look for space.”

Tenerife will now face Getafe, which finished the season third and beat Huesca 5-2 on aggregate in the other semifinal. Tenerife will be at home on Wednesday before the return leg away on Saturday.