by CHRIS WRIGHT
Beira-Mar arrived in Olhão having lost only two away games all season and in the process conceding just three goals.
But all that was to end as a rejuvenated Olhanense ran out 2-1 winners with a dynamic second-half performance.
The visitors started brightly and almost took the lead when Zhang hit the post after just four minutes. The home side had obviously been told to shoot at every opportunity and on several occasions long range efforts were well wide of the mark with the worst culprit being Wilson Eduardo who must have worried the low flying storks!
Close to half-time the visitors should have taken the lead but Douglas blazed his shot high over the bar from Nildo’s cross.
Mauricio and Ismaily were in great form at the heart of the home defence and Rui Duarte worked tirelessly in midfield.
Ten minutes after the restart Olhanense went ahead when Sporting loanee Wilson Eduardo volleyed home after good work by Salvador Agra. Centre-forward Yontcha and Salvador Agra maintained a high line and were a constant threat as Olhanense pressed for a second goal.
With ten minutes to play Agra was fouled in the box and Rui Duarte sent Rui Rego the wrong way to notch the veteran skipper’s second penalty in consecutive games.
Five minutes later and referee Manuel Mota, who had been having an excellent game, awarded Beira-Mar a mysterious penalty against Andre Pinto. Artur stepped up to make it 2-1.
Two minutes into stoppage time the visitors captain Hugo was sent-off for a second bookable offence; in the last ten minutes of the game there were four yellows and one red card!
There was still time for Salvador Agra and Yontcha to miss the easiest of chances as the Olhanense faithful roared on the team to their first league win since September.
In just two weeks new boss Sérgio Conceição has instilled a greater work ethic amongst his small squad of players.
“I have to praise the spirit of the players who showed great determination and believed that they could win the game. I have to thank the fans who were fantastic. I’m pleased to achieve the first victory as coach, but this is only the first of many,” the 37-year-old former Portuguese international said after the game.
Salvador Agra signs for real Betis
Portugal U21 international Salvador Agra has signed for the Spanish Premier League side until the end of 2014/15 season.
It is reported that Olhanense will initially receive €200,000 whilst retaining a percentage of the player against future transfers.
Agra plays against Sporting on Monday but it is not yet known whether he will remain with Olhanense until the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Olhanense’s former Portimonense forward Ivanildo, is in Greece where he is being assessed by the league’s number two side Panaitoliko.
Sporting in town
On Monday, January 23, kick-off 8.15pm, Olhanense entertain Sporting Lisbon at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão (behind McDonalds on the EN125).
Arrive early for what should prove to be an exciting night. Olhanense drew 1-1 with Sporting in Lisbon on the first weekend of the season.
Sporting will be without midfielder Elias who picked up his fifth yellow of the season in the 2-1 defeat at SC Braga last Sunday.
For further information about tickets email: [email protected].
There are provisional plans for a friendly fixture with Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow on Wednesday, January 25, KO 4pm. Check at www.jiilingo.com for all the latest information in English.