Portimonense made it three out of three victories in the Portuguese League Cup group phase with a hard fought 3-2 away success over Paços de Ferreira to become the first second division team in the competition’s history to reach the semi-finals.
Manager José Augusto’s men were caught napping early on during Tuesday night’s encounter, with Roniel and Manuel Jose giving the home side a 2-0 lead before the half-hour mark. However, a good cross from Ryuki was met first time by Fidelis in the 43rd minute to reduce arrears by half time.
The second half saw chances at either end before a Cicero own goal levelled the score at 2-2. Then, only minutes later, Fabricio stepped up to stroke home one of his trademark free kicks and secure the win.
Marítimo and a trip to Madeira now looks the most likely scenario (the second set of final group games were played after the Resident went to press) prior to a possible Cup final with Benfica in May.
Earlier in the week, Portimonense were less fortunate as visiting league opponents Aves’ spoiling tactics, following an irregularly taken free kick which resulted in the only goal of the match coupled with very poor refereeing, resulted in defeat.
Now in sixth place, the Algarveans, boosted by the timely return to action of Mu Kanazaki, will be hoping to make up some of the lost ground at lowly Mafra on Sunday afternoon.
By SKIP BANDELE