Olhanense sinking fast

A third consecutive defeat in the Segunda Liga has virtually assured SC Olhanense of a return to non-league from whence they came back in 2004. With 12 games remaining, the Olhão-based team are 18 points from safety. The 2-1 reversal at Benfica B was Olhanense’s 20th league defeat, having won just four and drawn six.

A remarkable fall from grace for a team that just five years ago finished a very creditable eighth in the Primeira Liga.

In the game at Benfica’s Football Academy and Campus at Seixal, it was Olhanense who took the lead when Gerevini headed home Hélder Cabral’s well flighted corner after quarter-of-an-hour having earlier wasted a gilt-edged opportunity when Russian keeper Ivan Zlobin denied Salim Cissé.

The Eagles drew level eight minutes before the interval through Diogo Gonçalves.

The visitors knew they had to win and returned for the second-half with an attack orientated frontline. But they were thrown into disarray when Sori Mané’s fouled Heriberto in the penalty area; U21 Portugal international Pedro Pêpê Rodrigues converted the resulting spot-kick. Olhanense looked the more likely to score but Zlobin was in outstanding form as he made a great save from a Hélder Cabral free-kick and an equally good save from Aldair to deny the visitors a point they deserved.

Lisbon team in Olhão
On Saturday, CD Cova da Piedade are the visitors to the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão – kick-off 3pm. The team from the Almada region of Lisbon are mid-table after gaining promotion to the Segunda Liga last year for the first time in their history.