Dire performance  by Olhanense

By CHRIS WRIGHT [email protected]

Following the exhilarating 2-2 draw at Porto the week before, the Olhanense fans were looking forward to more of the same against bottom club Belenenses on Sunday.

But the 4,000 fans were to be bitterly disappointed as the team from Belém (Lisbon) recorded their first away win of the season.

Belenenses were happy to keep 11 players behind the ball and break on the counter-attack. Midway through the first half, the tactic paid dividends when front runner Lima beat Miguel Ângelo before rounding keeper Ventura and slotting the ball into an empty net.

On a perfect day for football, and on an immaculate playing surface, the home side looked lethargic and lacked the creativity to unlock the Belenenses defence.

As the break approached, Lucilio Baptista fouled Ukra, who got up quickly, played the free-kick through to Castro who fired the ball under Bruno Vale for the equaliser.

A fortunate goal but at least the Algarveans could regroup at half-time.

If Olhanense had been poor in the first-half, they were dire in the second. Where was the team that had raced into a 2-0 lead against the League Champions only seven days earlier? They went 1-2 down when Lima flicked home Celestino’s free-kick after 60 minutes and secured all three points twenty minutes later when Barge outpaced the home defence to score number three.

This was an enormous victory for Belenenses, who had scored only three goals in ten away games before this match. Centre-backs Tengarrinha and Miguel Ângelo were well off the pace and the only Olhanense players to come out of this match with any credit were Castro and substitute Yazalde.

With seven games to go, four points separate the bottom four teams and manager Jorge Costa has a lot of work to do before Olhanense travel to Rio Ave at the end of the month. There are no league fixtures this weekend as it is the League Cup Final.