By CHRIS WRIGHT
Olhanense might well have felt confident as they travelled north to take on bottom club Naval, who are struggling on only four points.
But the Algarve side were in for a rude awakening as Naval took the lead in the fourth minute when keeper Moretto couldn’t hold on to a stinging cross and Bolivia was on hand to tap the ball home.
The visitors were missing the commanding figure of centre-back Mauricio, suspended after accumulating five yellow cards, with Mexer taking his place.
Olhanense’s wide men, Paulo Sérgio and Jorge Gonçalves, were kept in check by a Naval side fighting for every ball. The visitors came more into the game as the half progressed and they pressed for an equaliser. Within six minutes of the restart the scores were level. Vinicius surged forward from midfield and his cross was headed home by Cadu for his first goal of the season.
Both sides looked for the winner and Moretto saved well from Naval’s Fabio Junior and Bolivia. Olhanense brought on three forwards – Djalmir, Toy and Lulinha – but had to settle for a share of the spoils.
A fair result with Olhanense struggling to rediscover their early season form that took them into the top three.
With some surprise results over the weekend this draw keeps Olhanense in mid-table, where three points separate seven teams.
FC Porto’s emphatic 5-0 win over Benfica leaves them ten points clear at the top while Sporting were surprisingly beaten at home by V.Guimarães.
Sporting were 2-0 up with twenty minutes to go when Maniche received his marching orders and the visitors scored three in the last fifteen minutes to snatch the points.
As the Algarve Resident was going to print on Wednesday, Olhanense were playing Oliveirense in the 2nd leg of their League Cup tie, having lost the 1st leg 0-1.