Portimonense scored twice in quick succession before the game was 10 minutes old to wrap up all three points against Fafe last Wednesday.
Experienced manager Vítor Oliveira clearly had his side well prepared as the Algarveans poured forward straight from the kick-off. Paulinho found Amilton in space and the Brazilian recent arrival from Madeira easily beat advancing home keeper Marçal to make it 1-0 with only three minutes on the clock.
Four minutes later, Pires grabbed his eighth goal of the season and the second of the afternoon when finishing off a good move involving Bruno Tabata and Lumor to leave Fafe with a mountain to climb.
Tabata and Ricardo Pessoa came close to doubling Portimonense’s advantage before the home side starting to threaten with Silvestre going close just before half-time. The second half provided for a more balanced encounter but both defences stood up well as the visitors retained their two-goal advantage until the final whistle.
With immediate rivals Santa Clara, who lost their coach Daniel Ramos to top tier Marítimo in mid-week, yet to play, Portimonense have reclaimed top spot in the second division Ledman LigaPRO with 20 points from eight games.
In contrast, Portimonense exited rather tamely from the Portuguese FA Cup when beaten 4-3 on penalties by União de Leiria after their second round tie on Sunday afternoon.
A mostly reserve 11 came back from a goal down on two occasions to leave the game drawn at 2-2 after extra time before the spot kick lottery decided the issue.
The result emphasised Vítor Oliveira’s priorities this season, as illustrated by his post-match comment: “It seemed to me that we were always the better team. However, the second division is our big objective and we have a very important game this Wednesday.”
That match (played after the Resident went to press) saw 2015/16 Champions FC Porto B – currently in fourth place – visit the Algarve ahead of this Sunday’s trip to Famalicão.
By SKIP BANDELE
Photo: Pires grabbed his eighth goal of the season