Any slim chance that SC Olhanense had of reaching the Campeonato de Portugal play-offs evaporated as they went down 2-0 at home to SC Ideal (Azores). The Sunday morning kick-off, after the clocks had gone forward an hour, was obviously not conducive to maintaining the Olhão team’s recent good form.
Manager Vasco Faísca was able to recall Muscat, following his international duties for Malta in their 2-1 victory over the Faroe Islands and two goal defeat by Spain, but he was without centre-back Miguel Campos, missing having picked up a fifth yellow card in the away win at Vidigueira.
The home side went a goal down after just five minutes when referee Miguel Silva awarded Ideal a dubious free-kick on the corner of the Olhanense penalty area. An inch perfect effort from Hugo Simões sailed majestically over the defensive wall and into the top left-hand corner of the net. SC Ideal were happy to sit behind the ball and let Olhanense attack and whilst the home side had 80% of possession, they could not find a way through.
Seven minutes after the interval, a breakaway by SC Ideal resulted in Olhanense keeper Cleber Santana being outfoxed on the edge of his area and in an effort to block a certain goal Adilson was adjudged to have handled the ball and received a straight red card. Ventura powered the resulting spot-kick past the despairing dive of Cleber.
Despite pushing forward at every opportunity, Olhanense were unable to get the better of the islanders who eased their relegation worries with this victory.
On Sunday, Olhanense travel along the coast to play Armacenenses at the Estádio Municipal Armação de Pêra – kick-off 4pm.
By CHRIS WRIGHT