Portimão – End-of-season scramble
LIGA NOS: PORTIMONENSE 1-0 FEIRENSE
Portimonense secured three very important points against bottom side Feirense at the Municipal Stadium last Saturday afternoon to ensure top-class football in the Algarve next season.
Manager António Folha’s eleven controlled most of the game from the start. Jackson Martinez and Tormena threatened early on before Feirense defender Tiago Gomes made matters worse by earning himself a straight red card for a violent foul on Tabata just after the half-hour mark.
Then a shot from Henrique took two deflections before ending up in the hands of fortunate opposition keeper Caio Secco, but there was nothing the tall Brazilian could do to stop Tabata heading home from an Aylton Boa Morte cross a few minutes later.
Lucas Fernandes almost doubled the lead five minutes later but for a great block from Caio, Jackson’s follow-up just clearing the cross bar, before referee João Capela decided to even things up with a very harsh dismissal of Boa Morte for a high challenge as half-time beckoned.
With an hour played, Jackson showed great control, turning on a Dener pass in the area to leave his marker standing, but his shot only shaved the outside of the left-hand post.
Portimonense continued pressing for a second until Feirense finally produced some chances of their own, Stivan, Edson Farias, Tiago Silva and Flávio Ramos all testing Ricardo Ferreira during the closing 10 minutes albeit without success.
The win sees Portimonense on 36 points, level with Marítimo, five clear of Chaves and Tondela, with a further four counters to Nacional de Madeira in penultimate place above already relegated Feirense.
Although there are still three matches to play starting with a trip to Benfica this Saturday, the constellation of the remaining fixtures would require a minor mathematical miracle in order to deny the Algarveans survival.
In the second division, the situation for the region’s other representatives in the professional ranks, Farense, looks to be much more precarious. The club from the Algarve’s capital, bidding to rediscover former glory days, is hovering on the edge of the relegation zone, separated only by goal difference from third-from-bottom Arouca, whom they face in a must-win clash on Sunday afternoon.
By SKIP BANDELE