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Olhanense give Benfica a fright

by CHRIS WRIGHT

After nearly 3,000kms on the road over a 10-day period, Olhanense settled in Lisbon for their BWIN League Cup match against Benfica.

This was the third time the two teams had met inside six weeks at the Estádio da Luz. The league and Portuguese Cup matches had ended in 2-0 and 5-0 victories for the home team, and the latest encounter between the two sides looked to be heading the same way as Benfica went two goals up inside 22 minutes.

Javi Garcia opened the account and Jara scored an excellent goal with a left foot shot on the turn from the edge of the box. But against all the odds, Olhanense, who fielded a weakened team, came roaring back. Veteran striker Djalmir pulled a goal back just before the break and shortly before the hour mark, the same player earned a penalty that Rui Duarte confidently dispatched to equalise.

With the Algarve team continuing to threaten, Benfica called on the big guns – Gaitan and Salvio. Benfica immediately improved, with the Atletico Madrid loanee continuing his superb form.

The attacking midfielder capped a fine cameo display by scoring the winning goal, shimmying past a couple of defenders and coolly curling a precise finish into the bottom corner of the net.

Despite the 3-2 defeat, a great effort from an Olhanense side that has been decimated by injuries. 

Home victory for Olhanense

The heavy schedule of matches had taken its toll on the Olhanense squad, with manger Daúto Faquirá hard pressed to name a squad for the home game with Académica, who themselves were missing vital players through injury and suspension.

On a cold, wet evening more akin to a British football match, both sides played open attacking football. The visitors rattled the bar early on and then took the lead midway through the first period.

Sporting Lisbon loanee Adrien, making his first appearance for Académica, scored after the home defence failed to clear a corner.

Within minutes, it was 1-1 as Nuno Piloto scored his second goal of the season after good work by João Gonçalves and Jorge Gonçalves.

Early in the second-half Ismaily made a vital challenge as Académica had a clear opportunity to regain the lead.

On sixty minutes Jorge Gonçalves had the ball in the net but Paulo Sérgio was ruled to be offside, one of many contentious decisions made by the match officials.

The decisive goal came after seventy minutes when skipper Rui Duarte blasted home his second penalty in three days. Five minutes later Paulo Sérgio was only centimetres away from increasing the lead.

The 2-1 win consolidates Olhanense’s position in mid-table with 22 points. 

MARÍTIMO IN OLHÃO

On Sunday Marítimo (Madeira) play Olhanense in the final game of the 3rd phase of the BWIN League Cup, with a 6.15pm kick-off. While Olhanense cannot qualify, Marítimo know they must win and hope that Benfica lose heavily to 2nd Division Desp.Aves!

Latest information can be obtained at www.scolhanense.com or contact Chris Wright on 916 504 903, email [email protected] or Emily Richardson on 939 486 870 or email [email protected]