Olhanense edge closer

By CHRIS WRIGHT [email protected]

Sporting Clube Olhanense, shortly to celebrate the 97th Anniversary of their formation, moved a step closer to promotion to the top flight with a 2-1 victory over third placed Feirense last Saturday. The home side went on the attack straight from the kick-off and could easily have been several goals to the good in the first 30 minutes.

As it was, a single goal from a free-kick by Ukra after 11 minutes was all they had to show for their dominance. Olhanense should have had a second goal shortly before half-time when they were awarded a penalty for handball, but top goalscorer Djalmir blazed the spot kick over the bar.

The visitors captain Jorge Leitão, who had several very successful seasons with Walsall FC following his transfer for £150,000 from Feirense in 2000, attempted to rouse his team but Olhanense were fired up for this important fixture.

Halfway through the 2nd period a pinpoint corner from Rui Duarte was headed firmly home by centre-forward Toy, to give the home side a 2-0 lead. Six minutes later the game changed when defender Luciano reduced the arrears from a corner, and keeper Bruno Verissimo will be disappointed he did not do better. In time added on the visitors were incensed when referee Artur Soares Dias failed to award them a free-kick and in the ensuing melee two players were booked and Gabi was shown a red card.

Olhanense still lead the table on goal difference from Santa Clara who also won 2-1 and are six points clear of third placed U.Leiria. With six games to play, 12 points will guarantee Olhanense promotion, but on Sunday they face another stiff test when they travel to Aveiro to play Beira-Mar who have only lost once at home all season. A large number of fans are expected to make the 500 kms journey but for those who cannot travel the match is being shown live on Sport TV kick-off 11.15am.

A number of the East Algarve SCO Expats Supporters Group, over 30 attended last Saturday’s game, will be gathering at Madhatters Riverside Bar in Tavira to watch the game.

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