Portimão football club found itself within 60 seconds of completing the remarkable Houdini act of guaranteeing Liga Orangina (the Portuguese equivalent to England’s Coca-Cola Championship) survival last Sunday following a season spent largely rooted to the bottom of the table.
The last home match of the current playing period saw manager Lazaro Oliveira’s men dominate their visitors from Trofense throughout this vital encounter. An own goal from Pedro Santos and a Ruben strike either side of the interval should have settled matters and rendered this weekend’s concluding away trip to Madeira meaningless but a late, late lapse of concentration may yet cost the Algarveans dearly. The team began to display signs of nervousness following the 70th-minute expulsion of Eridson and dispite equal numbers on the pitch being restored shortly afterwards with the dismissal of Edu on the other side, Regula and Arauju were allowed to snatch an improbable 2-2 draw for Trofense as the final whistle was blown.
The two points dropped see Portimonense remain one point above current relegation candidates Covilha and Freamunde who both also drew and one point behind Arouca. Portuguese league rules state that not goal difference but direct comparison between teams during the season decide in case clubs finish on the same number of points- in Portimao’s case the Algarveans would enjoy superiority over Freamunde and Arouca but have an inferior record against Covilha. A straight win in Madeira on Sunday afternoon would of course resolve all issues as would a draw should neither of the two clubs below claim maximum points from their fixtures. Were Portimao to lose the calculations above become relevant and could spell out a lucky escape or disaster. Skip Bandele