lower divisions

In what amounts to Portugal’s second division, Louletano stormed to the head of the II Divisão, Série D by Christmas.

Away draws at rivals Moscavide and Pinhalnovense were followed by a thumping 4-0 win over Casa Pia, previously in second. Coupled with the fact that top team Operário only drew, Loulé’s triumph sees the Algarve team entering 2006 at the head of the table that only provides for one promotion place to the Liga de Honra.

In Division III, now without Farense, Almancil heads the Algarve challenge for promotion to fourth, with the others in mid-table. Silves are showing signs of improvement under their new Dutch coach, while Algarve United have managed to recover from a bad start to climb out of the bottom of the District first division.