Late drama in Coimbra


Former Olhanense manager Jorge Costa was in buoyant mood as he took charge of Academica (Coimbra) for their first home game of the season.

After producing a stunning upset last week in the opening round of the Premier Liga, the Estudantes (so called because of the famous Coimbra University) got a taste of their own medicine as their late lead was cancelled out by a stoppage time penalty to give Olhanense a share of the spoils.

Academica had sealed a shock win in the dying seconds against Benfica the week before and were made to feel the disappointment this time around as the Coimbra-based club was pegged back when an assured victory looked certain.

A meagre crowd of 3,009 turned up to watch Jorge Costa’s heroes and at times it was the 100+ fans from the Algarve, after a 600kms trip north to the university city, who made more noise.

Olhanense manager Daúto Faquirá started with the same team as the previous week against V.Guimarães, with skipper Djalmir the sole striker upfront. Midfielders Delson and the exciting young prospect Lulinha were on the bench having received FIFA international clearance during the week.

A very quiet first-half produced only one scoring opportunity when Academica’s Diogo Valente’s 15th minute free-kick took a deflection and struck the post.

Shortly after the interval, Miguel Fidalgo almost replicated his heroics from last week, but saw his header go into the side netting.

Olhanense’s former Belenenses striker Yontcha replaced Djalmir with 30 minutes remaining. The visitors were now showing more composure and Fernando Alexandre was having a fine game in midfield.

Yontcha came close to scoring in the 85th minute but the striker’s effort rattled the crossbar. Just when it seemed that both teams would settle for a scoreless draw, Diogo Gomes headed home Junior Paraiba’s cross in the 90th minute.

But the late drama was to continue, deep into stoppage time, as Olhanense were awarded a penalty when Eder was adjudged to have handled in the penalty area.

Yontcha calmly stepped up to the spot and converted the penalty to score Olhanense’s first goal of the campaign and maintain their unbeaten record.

On Sunday, kick-off 7pm, Olhanense are at home to U.Leiria, who have also started the season with two draws.

Tickets are available on the day and prices vary from 10 Euros to 30 Euros. A match day programme, in English, is available from Tiago & Inês Café, opposite the ground, prior to the game.


Two defeats in the opening two weekends of the new campaign, 1-2 at home to Academica and 0-1 at Nacional (Madeira) on Sunday have left last season’s champions wallowing at the foot of the table.

Benfica had emphatic pre-season wins over Feyenoord (4-1) and Aston Villa (4-1) but then defeats against Tottenham and FC Porto means they have now lost four on-the-trot.

In winning the championship last season they only lost two matches. Manager Jorge Jesus is urgently looking to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes.


The Portuguese Football Federation has suspended national coach Carlos Queiroz for one month after a disciplinary committee found him guilty of misconduct.

He was accused of insulting an anti-doping team sent to test the Portugal squad ahead of the World Cup, and that his aggressive behaviour was disruptive to their work.

Queiroz will not be available for the European Championship qualifiers against Cyprus on September 3 and Norway four days later.

Queriroz fought the charges and Sir Alex Ferguson testified on Queiroz’s behalf as a character witness. Queiroz complained that he was being subjected to a “public lynching” as details of the inquiry, into the incident back in May, were leaked to the media.

Officials sent to carry out routine tests on players said Queiroz harassed and intimidated them and used foul language, according to media reports.