Glory Days

Portimonense FC warmed up for this Sunday’s Benfica match with a comfortable Portuguese FA Cup third round victory over lowly Cinfães. Around 1,500 fans crossed the Arade river to see Renatinho and Dong Fangzhuo score their first goals for the club in official competitions at the Bela Vista stadium in Parchal. The visitors proved enthusiastic albeit somewhat limited and rarely threatened stand-in keeper Ivo in the Portimão goal allowing coach Litos’ men to save their strength for the upcoming big occasion.

The clash with the reigning champions at the Stadium of the Algarve (8.15pm kick-off, also live on Sport TV1) will be the club’s biggest game for the past 20 years. Ticket sales have been brisk throughout this week and at least 15,000 supporters are expected at the 28,000-seater Euro’2004 venue making for the biggest attendance ever involving an Algarve team in an official match. Whatever the score at the end of the 90 minutes the occasion will surely serve to document Portimão’s arrival back on the big stage.  Skip Bandele