Portimonense enjoyed a facile 3-0 victory over Freamunde last Saturday morning to remain four points clear of Aves, who won 3-1 at Penafiel, at the top of the table.
The writing was on the wall from the word go as the visitors’ defending grew increasingly desperate in response to mounting Portimonense pressure. Reckless tackles on first Jadson and then keeper Ricardo Ferreira stopped both players from taking any further part in proceedings within the opening 20 minutes and it took only another 10 for Freamunde’s Miguel Pedro to receive his marching orders after needlessly clattering into Ricardo Pessoa.
It was all plain sailing for the second division leaders from there on, with man-of-the-match Amilton setting up Manafá for the 35th-minute opening goal. After the interval, it was only a matter of time before provider turned executioner as Paulinho and Amilton combined well for the latter to make it two and then three nil during a productive eight-minute spell half-way through the second playing period.
“A difficult start on account of the injuries suffered,” manager Vitor Oliveira commented after the match, “but we continued the stronger and the 3-0 mirrored our superiority.”
Portimonense are back in action for the first of two Algarve derbies this season when travelling to bottom side Olhanense on Wednesday evening before welcoming Santa Clara after the Christmas break on January 8.
Meanwhile, the FIFA World Club Championship in Japan drew to a close last Sunday morning with host country representatives Kashima Antlers exceeding all expectations.
The J-League champions featuring on-loan Portimonense players Mu Kanazaki and Fabrício followed up earlier wins over Auckland City and Mamelodi Sundowns with an emphatic 3-0 semi-final defeat of South American champions Atletico Nacional to meet Real Madrid in the title match.
After Shibasaki had first cancelled out an early Benzema strike and then put Kashima ahead, it took a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick as well as extra time to finally overcome the local heroes 4-2.
By SKIP BANDELE
Photo: Man-of-the-match Amilton