Farense close in on promotion

Having beaten FC Felgueiras, on the away goals rule, in their Campeonato de Portugal quarter-final play-off, SC Farense were in no mood to make the same mistake in their semi-final first-leg against Vilafranquense at the Estádio de São Luís in Faro last Saturday.

The 3-0 win, in front of a pack crowd of some 6,000 fans, means they are now just 90 minutes away from a return to the professional Segunda Liga.

Farense dominated the game and nearly took the lead after nine minutes when Okechukwu Irobiso’s goal bound shot was deflected onto the bar by Vilafranquense defender João Freitas. Ten minutes later, the pressure told as André Vieira gave the home side the lead and, seven minutes after the break, the lively Okechukwu Irobiso made it 2-0.

The visitors’ experienced keeper, Carlos Fernandes, made a hash of an attempted punched clearance and Irobiso was on hand to head home. With a quarter-of-an-hour to go, André Vieira grabbed his second goal of the afternoon when he latched onto a rebound and fired home past the stranded keeper.

The only blot on an otherwise perfect result for Farense was a straight red card for Bruno Bernardo three minutes from time.

The second-leg takes place in Vila Franca de Xira (Lisbon region) on Sunday.

Photo: Farense players celebrate victory over Vilafranquense