Maximum points from their first two games in the Campeonato de Portugal Division D have given local rivals SC Olhanense and Louletano the perfect start to the new campaign.
Louletano edged home against 1st Dezembro (Sintra) at the Algarve Stadium, Faro, thanks to an 87th-minute goal from Erico Costa.
Olhanense travelled to the Beja region to play newly-promoted Aljustrelense and manager Vasco Faísca made just two changes, from the team that beat Armacenenses, with Rodrigo Moura replacing Rúben Dionísio in goal and Fábio starting in an attacking midfield role.
After a tentative opening 15 minutes, on an astro-turf pitch, Olhanense dominated the game and could have been at least four to the good at the interval but instead went in goal-less!
The home goal led a charmed life with the woodwork intervening on five occasions as at least four golden opportunities also went begging. The visitors finally broke the deadlock seven minutes after the interval when Sapara’s half-hit shot evaded keeper Fábio Reis and crept into the bottom corner of the net.
Caleb, who had been guilty of two glaring misses, made amends with a second goal 13 minutes later. Substitute Gonçalo Duarte, two minutes after his debut, played a peach of a reverse pass down the wing where João Vasco crossed for Caleb to smash home. Still chances went begging and, six minutes from time, Olhanense were rocked back on their heels when Diogo Soares’ fierce shot was brilliantly saved by Rodrigo Moura only for Pedro Guerreiro to head home the rebound. Game on.
Throughout the match, Olhanense skipper Leleco had received harsh treatment from the Aljustrelense defence and a two-footed scything assault by Gonçalo Serrão three minutes from time left referee Pedro Ramalho with no option other than to show a straight red card.
Olhanense made all three points safe when Sapara slotted home a third goal in stoppage time.
Olhanense have only lost one league game away from home all year – and that was back in February – to next Sunday’s opponents Real SC. Armacenenses lost 1-4 at home to Pinhalnovense with all the visitors’ goals coming in the first-half whilst newly-promoted Esperança de Lagos notched up their second successive draw as they were held 1-1 by Lusitano GC (Évora).
By CHRIS WRIGHT