SC Olhanense, leaders of the Campeonato de Portugal Division D, make it four wins on the trot with a 2-0 victory at third place Alverca. On a bitterly cold day, with the wind whistling up the Tejo river, it was not surprising that both teams started with gusto.
The home side soaked up early pressure but were rocked by the early dismissal of their goalkeeper João Victor. With seven minutes on the clock, the keeper advanced out of his area to break up an Olhanense attack and, in the process, felled centre-forward Hassan. A yellow card most definitely but, to everyone’s surprise, referee António Moreira produced a red and the home side were down to 10-men.
The visitors were playing against the wind in the first half and were happy to go in level at the break. Four minutes after the interval, Olhanense took the lead following a flowing seven-man cross field move. Caleb, out on the right, flashed over a pinpoint centre that found Hassan whose goal bound header glanced off an Alverca defender before hitting the bar and bouncing down where João Vasco was on hand to glance the ball over the line.
Twelve minutes later, Sapara, just inside his own half, flicked the ball down the left-wing to an unmarked Hassan who made a beeline for the Alverca goal. As he skipped into the penalty area, he turned inside, leaving the Alverca defender in his wake, before deftly slotting home his ninth goal of the season.
Hassan’s father Nader Hassan was a Moroccan international who scored 94 goals in 219 Primeira Liga appearances – mostly for Farense – and his 25-year-old son is beginning to follow in his father’s footsteps by attracting the attention of a number of top clubs.
With time running out, Alverca pressed forward, but it was Olhanense who had the better opportunities and could and should have added to their tally.
After 12 games, the Olhão side have amassed 31 points with their only league defeat being way back in mid-September.
Four points clear at the top, Olhanense entertain Amora (Setúbal) at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão (behind McDonalds on the EN125) on Sunday at 3pm. Olhanense have won all six home games; scoring 20 and conceding just six goals whilst 11th placed Amora have lost only once away from home.
By CHRIS WRIGHT