Portimonense suffered back-to-back setbacks as manager José Augusto’s team was knocked out of the League Cup before losing significant ground in the promotion race.
On Madeira in mid-week Pires gave the Algarveans a great start with an early strike before Marítimo assumed control of the match, finding the back of the net on two occasions before the interval.
The second half turned out to be much more fiercely contested affair with a host of chances at either end – however, as the clock was ticking down and the visitors threw every man forward in search of the equaliser, it was Marítimo who made it 3-1 in stoppage time to earn the right to meet either Benfica or Sporting Braga in the competition’s April 16 final.
On the following Sunday morning, Feirense provided further stiff away opposition, this time at the top end of Portugal’s second division.
Again it was Portimonense who scored first, a fantastic shot on the volley from Fabrício in only the second minute leaving home keeper Makaridze rooted to the spot.
A victory would have seen Portimonense draw level on points with their opponents right in the thick of the promotion battle – as it was, Feirense gradually found their way back into the game and were rewarded with two strikes later on in the second half to leave the Algarveans six points off the two top spots.
Next up is a home game against close rivals Gil Vicente (played on Wednesday afternoon after the Resident went to press) before Covilhã is the destination for Sunday’s away trip.