A mixed bag of tricks

A mixed bag of tricks

On paper, two draws against top four opposition were laudable results – however, given how the matches played out, Portimonense will be somewhat disappointed with the two-point gain out of the maximum of six on offer.
The mid-week away trip to then-league leaders Freamunde turned out to be a scoreless stalemate featuring 10 yellow cards and only one meaningful attempt at goal, from Portimonense’s João Paulo, raising speculation of a ‘fix’ (see below).
Last Sunday’s home follow-up against Tondela provided more animated entertainment which should have seen the Algarveans celebrate a deserved victory. Everything the visitors managed to produce during the opening playing period was efficiently dealt with and when manager Vitor Maçãs’ men returned after the interval, Mauricio only needed a little more than 10 minutes to put his side ahead.
The points could have been wrapped up shortly afterwards when Fabrício’s goal-bound effort was brilliantly saved by Tondela’s Cláudio Ramos, a missed opportunity which was to cost dearly as the unfortunate Ivo Nicolau diverted the ball past his own keeper during the closing moments to leave the game drawn at one a piece.
Returning to the Freamunde match, subsequent reports in the sporting press revealed unusual activity on the online Betfair site during the encounter, leading to betting being suspended at half-time. At that point a Portimonense win was inexplicably odds-on while Freamunde were quoted at six to one.
Portimonense President Fernando Rocha vigorously denied any suggestion of foul play while his opposite number, Miguel Pacheco, refused to comment.
Meanwhile, Portimonense supporters received more positive news as the team prepared to travel to bottom side Trofense this Sunday afternoon. Former club favourite Pires, a regular with the team during the 2009/10 and 2010/11 promotion seasons and the second division’s top scorer for Moreirense last season, has agreed to return on an 18-month contract from January to the detriment of current employer, Benfica de Luanda, in Angola.
By SKIP BANDELE