By CHRIS WRIGHT [email protected]
A disappointing 2-0 defeat at U. Leiria has left Olhanense hovering just above the relegation zone.
Some 300 supporters made the long trip north and helped to swell the meager crowd to 990.
With virtually a full squad to choose from, Olhanense manager Jorge Costa kept faith with his normal line-up leaving new signings Yazalde, Lionn and Delson on the bench.
The visitors started brightly and controlled most of the first half. Castro was regularly breaking from midfield and could easily have scored twice but was denied by Serbian keeper Djuricic.
Paulo Sérgio and Ukra covered most of the pitch as they created chances that went begging. The problem all season has been the team’s inability to take advantage when on top and this game was to be no exception.
The second period saw the home side change their formation and in the 61st minute, with only their second attack, they took the lead.
Ronny played the ball through and Silas was quickest to react as he rounded Anselmo and calmly beat the advancing Ventura.
Jorge Costa brought on Djalmir, returning after suspension, new midfielder Delson and Portugal under-21 centre-forward Yazalde.
The visitors were bereft of ideas and showed little co-ordination, although Delson worked hard and Castro was as industrious as ever.
With the clock ticking, Leiria sewed up the points with a minute to go as substitute Vitor Moreno netted from close in.
Referee Luis Reforço is to be congratulated on allowing the game to flow. He only produced the yellow card once, in stoppage time, to caution Leiria’s Ronny, who now misses their clash with Benfica for amassing five yellow cards.
A raffle was held on the coach on the way back to the Algarve, which raised 80 euros for the Haiti Earthquake Appeal and a collection will be made at Sunday’s home game at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão, against Nacional. Kick-off 3pm
Académica & Sporting Lisbon
Olhanense travel to Coimbra to play Académica on Sunday, February 14, with transport leaving Olhão at 6am. Coach and ticket for the game costs €40. Phone Emily Richardson on 939 486 870 for further information. On Saturday, February 20 Olhanense welcome Sporting to the Algarve with a 9.15pm kick-off. Ticket prices will be announced shortly.