Mixed fortunes

After the euphoria of a third successive win – 2-1 at home against Sp. Covilhã – Olhanense were brought back down to earth with a 3-1 reversal away at Freamunde.

Murilo was in sparkling form as he grabbed both goals against Covilhã who had only lost once away all season. After a quiet start, the game exploded into action in the 26th minute when the visitors had Joel sent-off for an off-the-ball incident.

Ten minutes later and a well worked move by the Olhanense midfield resulted in Murilo opening the scoring. Fifteen minutes after the break and Murilo added a second with a stunning strike from 30 metres.

There appeared to be little danger as Covilhã backed off Murilo who cut in from the right and unleashed a thunderbolt past the surprised Igor.

Two goals up against 10 men and the result should have been a formality but the visitors pressed forward in a determined effort to get back into the game. Minutes later and Zé Pedro reduced the arrears.

The visitors were looking the stronger but were further handicapped when Gilberto picked up a second yellow with 20 minutes to go. Olhanense continued to sit back and defend their slender lead against the nine men, much to the disgust of the home fans.

This was Olhanense’s fifth win in six games and moved them up to sixth place. Four days later, after a 600kms journey north, Olhanense took an early lead at Freamunde when Galassi converted a penalty after just three minutes.

The visitors could not sustain their first-half dominance and the departure of the injured Coubronne after 20 minutes did not help. The visitors missed the lively Murilo who was serving a one match suspension for picking up five yellow cards.

Freamunde regained the initiative when Pedrinho opened the scoring and further strikes from Diogo Ramos and Cafu gave the home side a comfortable 3-1 win. Olhanense drop to 10th but are still in touch with the promotion places.

Final game of the year

On Sunday, Olhanense entertain Leixões SC at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão (behind McDonalds on the EN125) kick-off 3pm. Leixões have yet to win away this season having lost seven of their 11 games on the road.

Change in management?

The management of the Olhanense SAD (limited liability company) has confirmed that negotiations are underway that may lead to changes. A Luso-British group of entrepreneurs are seriously interested in acquiring a majority stake in the SAD but so far none of the options “guarantees a credible and sustainable project”, says a statement released by the club. There may also be a number of changes in playing personnel when the transfer window re-opens in January. Reserve goalkeeper Tiago Maia will be available for transfer and first choice Moreira may also go. The 33-year-old former Benfica and Portugal keeper has been in brilliant form since arriving from Cyprus but his contract has a clause that allows him to move on should a suitable offer be received.