Off the mark

Portimonense finally got on the scoreboard for the new season following last Saturday afternoon’s home draw with Santa Clara, but manager António Folha’s men will regard the result as two points lost rather than one gained.

The visitors produced very little in the way of attacking football after taking an impromptu fifth-minute lead through a Fábio Cardoso header and their meagre total of five subsequent attempts at goal in contrast to Portimonense’s 21 sums up the game.

Numerous first-half opportunities saw Tabata, Nakajima, Dener and Lucas all direct their efforts either side of the post or over the bar while Santa Clara keeper Marco proved equal to better efforts from the two first-named players and then Wellington and Ewerton as half time approached.

The breakthrough was achieved shortly after the restart as Ewerton’s powerful drive rebounded off the visitors’ crossbar for Tabata to head home. Manafa then gave Portimonense the lead with a diagonal shot across goal but turned from hero to villain only minutes later as he diverted an attempted clearance past his own keeper to level the score at two a piece.

With 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Porto returnee Paulinho came on for Dener, the latter causing consternation amongst hard-core fans by throwing his captain’s armband to the ground before leaving the pitch. An important save from Portimonense keeper Ricardo Ferreira later – the only time he was called into serious action – Lucas forced a similar response from Marco at the other end before Wellington almost won it for the Algarveans at the death only to see his effort shave the post.

The over 2,000 fans who attended the match will have been both encouraged and frustrated by this latest performance and will be hoping that management’s efforts to secure a couple of centre forwards – said to be on their way from Brazil and the Chinese league – before this Friday’s transfer deadline prove successful ahead of Sunday’s next away match at Rio Ave.

There was better news for Portimonense’s U-23 team which managed a 1-0 win over Belenenses at the Estádio Dois Irmãos in the newly-formed national ‘Liga Revelação’.