Liga NOS: Nacional 0-1 Portimonense

Madeira piece of cake!

Portimonense were much better value than the single goal margin would suggest in beating Nacional on Madeira for the first time since 1994, while simultaneously recording their first away success of the current season last Friday evening.

A sparse home crowd saw Rochez force a good save from first choice Portimonense keeper Leo after 20 minutes before the same forward did have the ball in the back of the net, albeit from a clearly off-side position. The let-off galvanized manager António Folha’s men, a Jackson Martinez effort preceding a Nacional defensive mix-up which allowed Ewerton a simple finish to hand the Algarveans the lead just before the half-hour mark.

Portimonense maintained their forward momentum as the second half got under way and Jackson was desperately unlucky to have his goal-bound header from a Tabata free kick into the area ruled marginally off-side by the VAR video replay system.

Unperturbed, the Colombian international continued his search for a first goal since a two-year injury lay-off, and only a fingertip save from Daniel Guimarães in the Nacional goal kept the score at 0-1. Provider of the final pass on that occasion, Paulinho, then almost did double the tally, but saw his shot rebound off the post with the hosts offering little in terms of attacking football by return as the clock ticked down.

“I am satisfied with my team’s response to the FA Cup exit,” Folha said afterwards. “This is the attitude we need to show.”

One man unexpectedly missing from Friday’s winning line-up was Shoya Nakajima. The star forward, linked with a move to Premier League side Leicester City by recent newspaper reports, was not risked after his return from a taxing international fortnight in Japan, but should feature against Belenenses, surprise 2-0 winners over Benfica last weekend, at the municipal stadium on Saturday.