Many unhappy returns for Portimonense

Ill-discipline and lax defending once again undermined a good performance as Portimonense were beaten 3-2 in injury time by Porto during the two sides’ fourth round FA Cup clash last Friday evening.

The over 20,000 spectators in the Estádio do Dragão had reason to celebrate as early as the fourth minute when an unmarked Danilo opened the scoring after being allowed to run onto an Alex Telles’ corner for an easy tap-in.

The same Porto duo combined again to almost double the score 15 minutes later, but this time Danilo’s header from a Telles’ free-kick only crashed against reserve keeper Carlos’ bar.

Following that let-off, Portimonense began to gain more of a foothold in the match and were rewarded for their efforts on the half-hour mark as a deflected Nakajima effort fell to Wellington who beat Porto keeper Casillas with ease from close range.

With parity restored, Vítor Oliveira’s men launched into the second half with more confidence and Pedro Sá presented his coach with a 64th birthday present when smashing home from distance to make it 2-1 on the night after 68 minutes.

Now well in the ascendancy, the Algarveans continued to dominate until a rash tackle from Felipe Macedo produced a second yellow card from referee Artur Soares Dias and subsequent dismissal.

Now in numerical superiority, Porto renewed their efforts but saw penalty appeals turned down with only three minutes of normal time remaining, the ensuing fracas resulting in Porto manager Sérgio Conceição receiving his marching orders from Mr Dias. However, the respite did not last long as Telles once more turned provider, Aboubakar benefiting to slot home in the first minute of injury time, levelling the tie.

With half an hour of extra time beckoning, Brahimi then broke Algarvean hearts as he caught Carlos out of position for the 96th-minute winner.

Despite the defeat, Portimonense can draw some comfort from their improved performance against arguably the best team in the country at the moment, and now, freed of any further Cup competition commitments, must feel confident of securing their top division status during the remainder of the current season given similar displays.

Next up will be a Saturday afternoon visit from Tondela, level on points in the table, before a trip to bottom club Estoril on December 4 is on the agenda.