Olhanense were without suspended key defenders Duarte Machado and Nuno Diogo as they took on high flying Benfica ‘B’ in Olhão last weekend. The young Eagles had been in impressive form having won their last three games including a 4-1 win over Portimonense.
With just 10 minutes on the clock, the cultured right-foot of Captain João Teixeira opened the visitors’ account when his curling shot sailed past Ricardo Ribeiro into the top left-hand corner. A superb strike from a young man with a bright future whose prompting and work rate caused Olhanense all sorts of problems.
The home side had territorial advantage in the second-half but too often failed to make the final ball count and many of their crosses were high, wide or long. Murilo was out of his depth and the usually reliable Celestino appeared lost in midfield.
Ponce and Gonzalez Prado had good opportunities to get the home side back in the game but failed to beat Miguel Santos before a breakaway resulted in a second goal. Good work by another Benfica starlet in the making, João Carvalho, saw the ball reach Nuno Santos who crossed for Victor Andrade to score on 68 minutes.
Ponce (76’) and Antonio Rodrigo (80’) went close before the latter headed home Pedrelli’s corner with five minutes remaining.
It was too little too late, and Olhanense lost at home for the first time since November. Still battling against relegation Olhanense will be hoping for better against Freamunde at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão, this Saturday (kick-off 4pm). Too many draws (14) as against just eight wins have left the team a mere three points above the drop zone. Next Wednesday Olhanense travel to Aves who last weekend beat SC Farense 2-0.
By CHRIS WRIGHT