Olhanense duo in world cup qualifiers

By Chris Wright [email protected]

Centre-forward Agon Mehmeti, scorer of the all important goal in Olhanense’s win over Paços de Ferreira, made his debut for Albania in their World Cup qualifier game against Slovenia last weekend.

The 23 year-old was born in Kosovo, but the family managed to escape the war and was given asylum in Sweden.

From the age of two this was to be his home and he represented the Scandinavian country at youth level. But the affable Mehmeti feels a great affinity for his place of birth and readily acceded to Albania’s request for his skills.

Recently, he has plied his trade in Italy and is currently on loan from Palermo. Fellow club striker Francis Koné represented Togo in their 2-1 win over the Congo, but the smallest mainland African country still finished bottom of their group.

It was Cape Verde who supplied the shock of the World Cup Africa group stages with a 2-0 win over favourites Tunisia. Former Olhanense midfield Babanco, now with Estoril, was nominated as Man-of-the-Match.

The Blue Sharks now go into the hat with the other nine group winners.

The draw for the play-offs will be made in Cairo on Monday with the winners of the two-legged ties qualifying for Brazil 2014.

A practice match in Olhão between Olhanense and Portimonense saw the visitors take the honours with a goal by Ricardo Alves 10 minutes from time. Neither manager will have gained much from the scrappy affair, but at least a number of new signings and fringe players had a useful workout.

Olhanense manager Xavier gave new loanee centre-forward Federico Dionisi and 18 year-old midfielder Murilo Mendes, who has signed a four-year deal (both from Livorno, Italy), a full game.

The poor state of the pitch resulted in injuries to Mladen and Tibor Cica, who are now doubtful for the clash with Sporting Lisbon.