Olhanense shock League Champions


A last gasp equaliser in the final seconds of added time at FC Porto at the weekend denied Olhanense a famous victory.

This pulsating match was witnessed by 33,000 fans, with millions more watching on TV.

With recent victories against Sp.Braga and Arsenal, the home side gave the impression that they only had to turn up to take all three points.

But former Porto legend and now manager of Olhanense, Jorge Costa, had other ideas.

The team had travelled north by budget airline Ryanair but their performance was first class as they flew into a 2-0 lead with only 18 minutes on the clock.

The oldest player on the pitch, 34-year old Djalmir, netted twice as a strong Porto side – there were seven full internationals in the starting line-up – were torn apart by the rampant Algarvean lions.

In the 12th minute, a long cross from João Gonçalves found Paulo Sérgio on the far post. He headed back across goal and Djalmir was on hand to head past the helpless Helton. Five minutes later and ‘Man-of-the-Match’ Sérgio threaded a great ball through to Djalmir.

The centre-forward still had plenty to do but he held off the challenge of Maicon and fired the ball under the diving keeper to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

The stunned crowd could not believe that their heroes, 2-1 victors over Arsenal only ten days earlier, were trailing to a team in thirteenth place in the league and without an away win all season.

Porto came back strongly but Olhanense were resolute in defence where Miguel Ângelo, Tengarrinha and Carlos Fernandes won nearly every ball in the air.

Skipper Rui Duarte and Portugal Under21 internationals Castro and Ukra worked tirelessly in midfield.

Porto boss Jesualdo Ferreira was a worried man. Five minutes before the break he brought on the experienced Varela, who he had hoped to rest for the clash with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Porto could then have reduced the arrears but Ventura pulled off a great save from Ruben Micael. Within minutes of the restart Olhanense lost central midfield defender Rui Baião, who received a facial injury after a clash of heads.

Wave after wave of Porto attacks were repelled as the Olhanense players covered every blade of grass. On 68 minutes, Falcão should have scored but Ventura again came to the rescue tipping the shot onto the post and away to safety. Minutes later and the visitors were denied a strong penalty claim as Bruno Alves climbed all over Djalmir. Referee Cosme Machado, who otherwise had an excellent game, failed to spot the foul which could have sewn-up the game.

Still Porto came forward and with ten minutes to go hotshot Falcão, 17 goals from 21 games, netted from close in. The home side pushed forward and deep into stoppage time substitute Guarin scored to level the game at 2-2.

In all fairness, Porto’s pressure deserved a draw but it was cruel luck on Olhanense who will now be confident of maintaining their presence in the top flight.

Jorge Costa was full of praise for his young team but disappointed to have lost two points. Skipper Rui Duarte said: “This was a great performance against one of the best teams in Europe and I am very proud of all the players. We have wonderful supporters and we hope they will turn out in force to support us on Sunday against Belenenses.”

Olhanense are at home to bottom side Belenenses on Sunday (March 14) kick-off 3.00pm. Tickets are on sale at the José Arcanjo Stadium (behind McDonalds on the EN125), Olhão and can be purchased on the day.

For further information contact: Chris Wright 916 504 903 ([email protected].uk) or Emily Richardson 939 486 870 ([email protected])