By Chris Wright
Olhanense beat 2nd Division Oliveirense 4-1 In front of 2,314 fans last Wednesday afternoon, the largest crowd in the BWIN League Cup this season.
Two goals from Lulinha plus one each from Ismaily and Rui Duarte gave the home side a comfortable win.
Centre-forward Adilson, playing in an unusual wide role, along with the diminutive Lulinha were the stars of the show.
Ismaily got the opening goal ten minutes before half-time and Lulinha added a second just before the break. Oliveirense reduced the arrears on the hour through Rui Lima.
Any possible upset was killed off within five minutes as the home side put the result beyond doubt with a Rui Duarte penalty and a second strike from Lulinha.
This 4-2 aggregate win gives the Algarve side a place in the last sixteen. The top eight teams in the league last season – Benfica, Sp.Braga, Porto, Sporting, Maritimo, V.Guimarães, Nacional and Naval – now join Olhanense, Estoril, Penafiel, Aves, Arouca, P.Ferreira and the winners of Beira-Mar/Fatima and Leiria/G.Vicente (playing as the Algarve Resident went to print).
The next stage will be four leagues of four teams.
Two valuable points dropped
Beira-Mar came into Sunday’s match with Olhanense full of confidence after their surprising 3-2 away win at Sp.Braga the week before.
But it was the home side who dictated the early pace, with Fernandes Alexandre and Vinicius particularly impressive in midfield. Lulinha, after his two goals in midweek, made his first league start of the season.
With only ten minutes gone a long ball down field was flicked on by Paulo Sérgio to Adilson who kept his composure before slotting the ball past Rui Rego.
Olhanense were looking good but failed to capitalise on their superiority. Skipper Carlos Fernandes was stretchered off shortly before half-time to be replaced by Ismaily whose first touch nearly gifted Beira-Mar a goal.
In the second period Yontcha and Rui Duarte, who replaced Adilson and Lulinha, had obviously been instructed to shoot on sight, with long range efforts whistling past the post.
Beira-Mar were gaining more possession as the home defence dropped deeper and deeper. The commanding centre-back Mauricio, back after a one match suspension, made a surging run up field as the crowd roared him on but there was a sense of inevitability amongst the fans who wanted another goal.
Unfortunately it came at the wrong end as Renan’s unstoppable free-kick flew past Moretto in the very last minute of normal time.
This 1-1 draw was the Algarveans sixth stalemate of the season but moves them up a place to seventh.
With Carlos Fernandes and Adilson picking up injuries, manager Daúto Faquirá will be grateful for a break from league action as Olhanense entertain Madeira side Nacional on Sunday in the Portugal Cup. Kick-off 3pm.