Olhanense riding high

Manager Nilson Terroso welcomed the return of centre-back Ivo Nicolau after a two-match absence through injury whilst Inter Milan loanee Zé Turbo kept his place at centre-forward for the difficult trip to play Operário in the Azores.

New signing Okitokandjo (ex. Leixões) started on the bench. Olhanense were in confident mood after winning their previous three games without conceding a goal and the pacy Jefferson Encada proved a handful for the home defence.

Just before the half-hour mark, the young Sporting loanee winger slung over a cross that Operário keeper João Botelho failed to hold and Rúben Fidalgo was on hand to slot home from five metres.

Both sides continued to test each other on the astro-turf surface, with Olhanense having the better of the opportunities.

Just after the hour-mark, Stevy Okitokandjo made his debut for the visitors replacing Jefferson Encada.

Olhanense stood firm with Ivo Nicolau and Materazzi dominating at the heart of the defence whilst Leleco and Okitokandjo were lively in attack but failed to deliver the coup de grâce. The final whistle ensured that the part of 40 visiting fans had a win to celebrate after a four-day trip to the Azores involving a round trip of some 3,500kms.

Olhanense have now gone six hours of football without conceding a goal and will be looking to extend that record when they entertain Oriental (Lisbon) at the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão, at 3pm on Sunday.

With a third of the season remaining, Olhanense are in second place, a point ahead of Casa Pia (Lisbon), but nine points behind leaders SC Farense.


Photo: Ruben Fidalgo, scorer of the all-important goal