The festive period brought some good news to Portimonense football club as well as a league away draw and mixed fortunes in two Cup ties.
Firstly, much-needed stability was established when manager José Augusto had his current one-year contract extended until the end of the 2017/18 season.
Secondly, news broke that star player, Japan international Mou Kanazaki, is on his way back to the Algarve to help the promotion push during the second half of the season. The 26-year-old, who scored 15 goals in 36 games as well as winning the Japanese Cup while on a 12-month loan at Kashima Antlers, was one of Portimonense’s most influential players prior to his departure and should form a formidable midfield partnership with Ewerton from January.
On the pitch, the club was unlucky to exit from the Portuguese Cup after being beaten 4-3 on penalties at Gil Vicente. That match was followed by a highly credible 2-2 league draw away to high-flying Chaves before the Algarveans thrashed top division Arouca 4-1 in front of their own fans last Monday evening.
That opening third phase League Cup Group C encounter will be followed by a visit from Sporting Lisbon over the third January weekend before the semi-finalist are decided when José Augusto’s men travel to Paços Ferreira a week later.
Meanwhile, league action returns to the banks of the River Arade this Sunday when Varzim provide the opposition followed by a visit from league leaders FC Porto B on January 10.
By SKIP BANDELE
Photo: Portimonense celebrate their victory over Arouca at the end of the Taça da Liga match held at the Portimonense stadium on December 28
Photo by: LUIS FORRA/LUSA