Man-of-the-match Shoya Nakajima finally rediscovered his old form as the Japanese winger orchestrated Portimonense’s only second home win during his first full game of the season last Saturday evening.
The 27-year-old, back on loan from Porto following a turbulent two-year absence, opened the scoring in the 10th minute when connecting perfectly with a Fali Cande cross into the heart of the Belenenses area.
The remainder of the half saw the visitors chasing the deficit, Lukovic providing the principal threat, although Candé almost doubled the advantage just before the interval.
Aylton Boa Morte and Carlinhos replaced Marcus and Imbula before the restart adding more menace to manager Paulo Sérgio’s formation for the second playing period. The move almost paid off immediately as Nakajima set up Aponza only for Luiz Felipe to pull off a great save in the Belenenses goal.
Nakajima was again instrumental during the following attack, but this time Aponza arrived too late to meet Boa Morte’s cross. The wait for the decisive second goal was finally over shortly before the end when Luiz Felipe only managed to get his fingertips to a Pedro Sá lob from the edge of the area, the ball ending up in the back of the net via the inside post.
The win, which featured the inauguration of Portugal’s first football ground environment-friendly LED floodlight system, keeps Portimonense in sixth place, just behind most recent conquerors Estoril and Braga.
League action will resume after the latest international break on November 27 at Famalicão, but before then a trip to second division Penafiel beckons for a Portuguese FA Cup fourth round knock-out tie.
Elsewhere, former Portimonense striker Beto scored the decisive goal during Udinese’s 3-2 victory over Sassuolo in the Italy’s Serie A.
By SKIP BANDELE