Olhanense in devastating form

By CHRIS WRIGHT

The crowds flocked to the José Arcanjo Stadium on Sunday hoping to see their team return to the top of the league and take another step towards promotion to the top flight.

Leaders Santa Clara had lost 3-1 at Boavista on Saturday so Jorge Costa’s team knew they would go one point clear if they won against Freamunde.

In the first half, the home side gave a devastating display that had the 5,500 fans constantly on their feet in appreciation.

With only seven minutes on the clock, there seemed little danger when the ever-improving Ukra received the ball out wide on the left. Cutting inside, he unleashed a thunderbolt from 35 metres that gave the visitors’ goalkeeper Figueira no chance.

Olhanense were pushing forward at every opportunity, and after a quarter of an hour skipper Rui Duarte made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Cuco had handled in the box.

Halfway through the first period, the industrious Toy slipped the ball home from the narrowest of angles after good work from Messi and Castro. 3-0 and the crowd sensed they were seeing something special.

With the interval fast approaching Toy pierced the heart of the Freamunde defence as he weaved his way past three players before sliding the ball to Djalmir who gratefully slotted home his 19th league goal of the season.

The Freamunde defence had no answer to the rampaging young lions of Olhanense. In frustration, the visitors Nélson made two rash challenges within the space of a minute and two yellow cards saw him dispatched for an early bath.

The British contingent of more than 30 that support Olhanense on a regular basis produce their own programme which featured details of one of the club’s more successful seasons 65 years ago when they recorded home victories over Porto 4-2, Guimarães 5-1, Setúbal 8-0, Belenenses 5-0 and the mighty Benfica 3-2. Could this be another day to remember?

The second period proved to be an anti-climax as Olhanense stroked the ball around whilst 10 man Freamunde packed their defence in a damage limitation exercise.

Substitute João Paulo did add a fifth in the 68th minute when he headed home a right wing cross from Toy.

The 5-0 score line is the highest in Liga Vitalis this season, and as the final whistle went the crowd rose as one to cheer off their local heroes.

With four games remaining Olhanense remain four points ahead of third placed Leiria, who they play away on Sunday.

Many fans will be making the trip north, but for those unable to travel the match is being shown live on Sport TV, kick-off 11.15am, at Madhatters Riverside Bar, Tavira and Vitors Tropical Bar, Manta Rota.