Olhanense need a miracle

Lucas Souza receives attention as referee Duarte Gomes (centre) was booed by fans after awarding Braga two penalties
With Belenenses winning at Gil Vicente, it looks almost a certainty that the Algarve’s only Primeira Liga team will drop into the 2nd Division.
SC Braga arrived in Olhão after a poor run of results had seen them drop out of the Europa League qualifying places whilst Olhanense knew they had to win in the quest to maintain their top flight status.
In their first attack, the home side should have been in front but Rui Duarte blazed over the bar after Paulo Sérgio got behind the Braga defence. Minutes later and referee Duarte Gomes awarded the visitors a penalty when Jander was adjudged to have tripped Rusesco.
The Romanian international, on loan from Sevilla, saw his penalty well saved by Slovenian keeper Belec.
With half-hour on the clock, Paulo Sérgio missed another glorious chance for the home side and on the stroke of half-time Kroldrup headed over from a corner.
After the break, Olhanense wasted yet another golden opportunity when Dionisi broke clear but his pass to Paulo Sérgio in front of goal was way off target.
Olhanense paid for their failure in front of goal when Jander was again penalised for a trip on the edge of the box; yet another dubious decision by the referee.
This time Rusesco made no mistake and ‘Os Arsenalistas’ were in front. Piqueti added a second in the final minute as the home side desperately sought an equaliser.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Olhanense are away to Rio Ave and on Easter Saturday they travel to Lisbon to where victory for Benfica could see them crowned as League Champions.
Chinese investment and conspiracy theories at Olhanense
Italian entrepreneur Igor Campedelli and his consortium have assured fans that they will continue to support the club even if they are relegated to the 2nd Division, as now seems likely.
Preliminary negotiations are taking place with a Chinese group who are interested in investing in the Algarve club.
Isidoro Sousa has been perplexed by the rash of penalties – seven in the last four games – awarded against his team.
“I think there’s something strange, when so many penalties are given against us and certainly a good proportion were extremely dubious,” said the club’s President who reiterated that the team would continue to fight for survival whilst there was still a mathematical possibility of staying up.
By Chris Wright