New start for Portimonense

As the January transfer window closed, recently appointed Portimão manager Lazaro Oliveira completed the transformation of his inherited team with a total of 11 new signings.

Some of the players charged with saving the west Algarve club from relegation saw their first action against Russian top division outfit Lokomotiv Moscow, new home of Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, in Lagos last week.

In front of surprise spectator, Sven-Goran Erikson, who is closely involved with the Cascade Resort hosting the Moscovites’ training camp, Portimão showed plenty of promise before losing 3-1.

That defeat did not look so bad in the light of Lokomotiv’s subsequent 4-0 victory over Liga Orangina highfliers Atletico and goalless draw with Danish title contenders Midtiylland, and that good impression was confirmed during Sunday’s League Cup match in Braga.

‘New’ Portimão matched their illustrious opponents stride for stride and more than deserved a draw but for a freak Hugo Viana strike four minutes into injury time.

The Portugal international took a hopeful punt from inside his own half with the ball ending up in the Portimão goal after keeper Serginho, who up to that point had been very good, slipped while back-pedalling.

On the above evidence and given another week’s worth of integration, Portimão should be able to face visiting league leaders Estoril with confidence this Sunday morning.

The match kicks off at 11.15am and will be shown live on Sport TV1.  

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