Anchored firmly at the bottom of the Segunda Liga, SC Olhanense travelled to non-league Fátima for a difficult third round Portugal Cup game last Saturday.
The Algarve club was hoping for a miracle, a possible money-spinning tie in the next round of 32, and manager Cristiano Bacci duly made seven changes.
The home side so very nearly took the lead on seven minutes when centre-forward Dzhamal Dibirgadzhiyev took too long with his shot and allowed Bulgarian keeper Evtimov, on loan from Nottingham Forest, to make a fine save.
Five minutes later and Dzhamal, on loan from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala FC, turned the ball into his own net from a corner to give the visitors the lead. Fátima almost equalised two minutes later, but Redolfi made a last gasp goal-line clearance from José Miguel.
On the half-hour mark, the dangerous Dzhamal – he recently scored six against Naval – sent a powerful header just over the bar.
Five minutes before the break, Olhanense increased their lead. In a counter-attack, Aldair played Gonzalez into space and the Colombian calmly slotted home past Valerio Vimercati.
Ten minutes after the break, Fátima were right back in the game when Aldair fouled Caleb Carvalho in the box and in the process picked up his second yellow of the game and was off for an early bath.
Nuno Laranjeiro duly converted the resulting penalty to make it 2-1. The 10 men of Olhanense dug in and defended in depth but even so Dhzamal could have levelled the score in stoppage time but put his shot wide.
Olhanense are now the Algarve’s only representative in the fourth round. SC Farense made the long trip to the Azores where they lost 3-1 against SC Praiense. Lusitano VRSA fared no better as they went down 2-1 against AD Sanjoanense in Madeira.
Sporting Lisbon in Olhão
Sporting Lisbon ‘B’ will be in town on Saturday, October 29 for their Segunda Liga game against Olhanense at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão. Kick-off is 11.15am. The game is being shown live on Sport TV.
Many international stars – Figo, Ronaldo, Eric Dier, Rui Patrício, William Carvalho, João Mário, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Rúben Semedo, Carlos Mané, Gelson Martins and Matheus Pereira – have been nurtured through the Sporting Academy so here is an opportunity to see the exciting new talent of the future. CHRIS WRIGHT
Photo: Gonzalez who scored the all-important second cup goal