Following two ultracompetitive match-days blighted by erratic refereeing, Portimonense find themselves leading the 22-team table by four points, ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) trip to improving Viseu.
Last week’s away game at Tondela rapidly turned into a nightmare after a goalless first half was immediately followed by red for Mica, reducing the Algarveans to 10 men.
To make matters worse, Ivo Nicolau then guided the ball past his own keeper to hand the home side the lead.
Quinaz’s 81st-minute additional dismissal ended any hope of a comeback and Tondela promptly scored twice more for a 3-0 win.
Neither of the two pursuing clubs was more fortunate. Moreirense also finished their home match with nine men as Aves triumphed 2-0 and Penafiel were beaten 1-0 at Viseu.
Portimonense went into last Sunday afternoon’s encounter with União da Madeira determined to give their close to 1,000 shivering home fans something to cheer about. The open and fast-flowing match brought the packed main stand to its feet after nine minutes when Fabrício headed home a Ricardo Pessoa corner at the near post.
Arthuro grabbed a deserved equaliser before the interval while Madeira team mate Silva was unfortunate to have a powerful strike ruled off-side. Another Pessoa corner was then met by defender Rui Correia to bring about the Portimonense winner.
At the same time, rivals Moreirense and Penafiel again came up short, drawing 0-0 and losing 2-0 respectively.
Portimonense are back in home action on Wednesday the 11th when Chaves visit. Entrance to the match will be free in celebration of the local bank holiday.
Meanwhile, the Algarve’s ‘other’ second division club, Farense, are rapidly climbing on the back of an eleven-game unbeaten run which most recently included a 4-1 home thumping of Sporting B prior to Sunday’s 2-0 success over Atlético.
On that form, Portimonense’s upcoming pre-Christmas trip east should make for a far more competitive regional derby than the 3-0 drubbing on the opening day of the season.
By SKIP BANDELE