When TV political commentator Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa congratulated Tondela on gaining promotion to the Primeira Liga, he was being a little premature. Having only picked up one point from their previous two games, the league leaders travelled to Olhão confident of collecting the three points that would assure them of games against Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon next season.
Whilst Olhanense have struggled all season, they tend to pull out all the stops against the top teams as witnessed the previous week when they beat second placed Chaves 3-0.
Following that game they travelled to mid-table Viseu in midweek and lost 1-0. So the scene was set for an intriguing battle. Tondela had the better of the first-half but failed to convert several golden opportunities to take the lead.
Ten minutes after the interval, the visitors were down to 10 men when Deyvison saw red and, two minutes later, Pedrelli gave the home side the lead.
Six minutes later and the lively Mastriani made it 2-0. In a feisty second period, a Renato Santos penalty reduced the arrears with 20 minutes to go followed shortly afterwards by goal-scoring Pedrelli being sent-off for a second yellow card.
In a nervy final 10 minutes, António Rodrigo sealed victory for the home side with his eighth goal of the season. The 3-1 victory secured Olhanense’s 2nd Division status for next season.
According to the Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport, Massimo Ferrero, who owns Sampdoria, has asked Ricardo Pecini, leader of the Italian club and brother of Nicola Pecini, one of the main shareholders of Olhanense, to implement the purchase of the Olhanense SAD.
The Italian club loaned two players – Ponce and Martin Lutherking Morais Simões – to Olhanense last January.
Following the failure of Massimo Ferrero to secure the purchase of 3rd Division Lecce, it would appear that he has now turned his sights on the Algarve club.
In February, Ferrero was quoted as being keen to sign Lionel Messi for Sampdoria and recently expressed his desire to take Mario Balotelli to Italy. The Ferrero family built up their wealth through their world famous confectionery brand and are reputed to be one of Europe’s wealthiest dynasties with a net worth in excess of €15 billion.
By CHRIS WRIGHT
Photo: LARRY BAWDEN