by CHRIS WRIGHT
There are times when a football match is more important than the result and this was one of those exciting occasions.
The game between SC Olhanense and Nacional proved to be an amazing spectacle where if you blinked you might miss a goal!
The home side welcomed back skipper Rui Duarte and centre-back Andri Pinto, who had been absent from the previous weeks win at U.Leiria. With just nine minutes on the clock Ismaily won the ball out wide and his left-wing cross was slotted home by Dady at the near post.
Ninety seconds later and Nacional were level. Former Portimonense player Candeias played in Mario Rondon who gave keeper Fabiano Freitas no chance. Fifteen minutes later and Wilson Eduardo dispossessed Margal on the right and laid the ball back to Salvador Agra who hammered home from fifteen metres.
This time Olhanense maintained the lead for five minutes before Andri Pinto lost the ball to Diego Barcellos who set-up Mateus to make it 2-2. With half-time fast approaching, the home side squeezed in front again when Dady scored his second after good work by Wilson Eduardo.
The crowd, which included many women who were given free entry in recognition of International Women’s Day the previous Thursday, was buzzing as it anticipated further goals in the second period.
And they were not to be disappointed as the Madeira side levelled matters once again when the lively Mateus scored his second.
Midway through the half and Nacional should have taken the lead. Caui lost the ball in midfield and Mateus could only watch as his delicate chip over the advancing keeper hit the inside of the post and rolled along the goal line.
Minutes later and another Olhanense attack resulted in a penalty when Dady’s cross was handled by Margal. Up stepped Wilson Eduardo to blast home and cap a fine performance by the Portugal U21 international.
Could the home side maintain the lead this time? Unfortunately not and ten minutes later it was 4-4 when the very impressive Claudemir scored direct from a free-kick.
There was still time for Olhanense to be denied a winner. Deep into stoppage time and the crowd were on their feet as substitute Vitor Meza headed home.
But referee Cosme Machado ruled it out for an infringement by Maurmcio much to the puzzlement of the cheering masses.
Bring on Benfica
On Friday, March 23 Benfica will be the visitors to the José Arcanjo Stadium (behind McDonald’s on the EN125). Kick-off 8.15pm.
Tickets for the game can be purchased from the Stadium all next week. Five days later the Lisbon giants will be playing in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Olhanense boss suspended
Sérgio Conceição has been suspended by the league’s Disciplinary Panel for 20 days and fined €2,500 following Olhanense’s victory at U.Leiria.
Assistant Jorge Rosário took charge of the team for the game with Nacional and he will also be in-charge for the game at V.Guimarães on Sunday. The match is televised on Sport TV. Kick-off 8.15pm.
V.Guimarães were thrashed 5-0 by Sporting last Sunday and it is reported in the Portuguese sports press that the club is in financial meltdown with the players being owed three months wages.
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