Portimonense – Five-star thrashing
LIGA NOS: Portimonense 5-1 Nacional da Madeira
Portimonense put an emphatic end to their six-game winless run dating back to January by recording their biggest victory for 31 years while creating a seven-point cushion to relegation-threatened Tondela, Chaves and Feirense in the process.
Over 3,000 spectators enjoyed the Sunday afternoon sunshine as Portimonense put their guests from Madeira, who had recently suffered a ten-goal mauling at Benfica, under pressure from the start.
It took only six minutes for man-of-the-match Tabata to shoot just wide after some good forward play before keeper Daniel Guimarães was called into serious action, barging over a Portimonense player while scrambling to gather a loose ball at the second attempt.
Referee Vitor Ferreira waved away penalty claims and Nacional briefly threatened, Palocevic forcing Ricardo Ferreira into a flying one-handed save. But the respite proved to be of short duration with Daniel just getting his body in the way of a Jackson Martinez shot before recovering to hold the ball on the goal line. But there was nothing the unfortunate keeper could do minutes later when, with Jackson closing in, defender Júlio César diverted a Tabata cross into his own goal.
With the floodgates now open, Portimonense followed up just before the half-hour mark – Jackson controlled the ball, and Lucas Fernandes finished with aplomb for his first senior goal and the second of the afternoon.
The third came not long after, Palocevic bringing down Paulinho in the area, the Brazilian dusting himself down before converting from the spot. With half-time beckoning, a fourth could have followed with another penalty award, but this time Jackson placed his effort wide.
Nacional returned from the break all guns blazing and, following three corners in quick succession, Okacha Hamzaoui headed past Ricardo to reduce the deficit. The revival proved to be very temporary, however, Portimonense soon regaining control with Aylton Boa Morte narrowly failing to connect with the loose ball after Daniel could only parry a 57th-minute Tabata shot.
An almost identical sequence of events proved more fruitful only an instant later, Aylton finishing at the near post to make it 4-1. Daniel continued to have his hands full, producing a string of great saves from Paulinho, Tabata and Jackson before being beaten for the fifth time as the Colombian international finally got on the score sheet.
There was still time for Nacional’s Kalindi to collect his second yellow of the afternoon and subsequent red card as Portimonense’s best performance of the season ended with Lucas Fernandes smacking his direct free kick against the woodwork.
Manager António Folha will have been more than pleased with this showing and will be hoping to maintain the momentum at Belenenses this Saturday.
By SKIP BANDELE