Olhanense fall short

In an entertaining Campeonato de Portugal game against second place Oriental, the home side failed to secure all three points that would have closed the gap on their Lisbon opponents.

Olhanense were without their influential captain Leleco and Zach Muscat who were both serving a one match suspension.

Olhanense started in whirlwind fashion and had two gilt-edged opportunities to open their account in the first 60 seconds! Those missed chances would prove to be costly as the game settled into a cat-and-mouse affair.

The visitors took the lead on the half-hour mark when a hopefully punt towards goal by Oriental’s Ruben Gouveia spun off the boot of Miguel Campos into the bottom corner of the net, leaving keeper Cléber Santana flat footed.

In the second-half, dominated by the home side, Olhanense threw on attackers Stevy Okitokandjo (60’) and Hassan (70’). Time and again, Oriental defenders flung their bodies in the way of goal-bound shots and, twice on breakaways, they very nearly extended their lead when shots cannoned off the woodwork.

Then, with four minutes of normal time remaining, big bustling centre-forward Stevy Okitokandjo was brought down by Oriental keeper David Grilo.

With regular penalty taker Leleco missing, the spot-kick was handed to Sapara who calmly slotted home to level the score.

With time running out, Hassan had a good chance to snatch all three points for Olhanense but saw his shot deflected into the side netting.

With just eight games to play, Oriental would have to lose three, whilst Olhanense need to win all their matches and rely on other teams to drop points, if the Lisbon outfit are to be denied a play-off place.

League leaders Praiense suffered a shock defeat at Louletano where the home side came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to a penalty by Thiago Peixoto (32’) and a second-half winner from Juan Costa (66’). It was only the Azores team’s third defeat of the season.


Oriental (white) repel an Olhanense attack
Olhanense (red/black) put pressure on the Oriental defence
Olhanense (red/black) clear their lines