Olhanense spot on

The third round of the Portugal Cup can often be the graveyard for Premier teams as they battle with lower league teams keen to have their moment of glory. Nowhere was this more obvious than at the small picturesque town of Sertã in the Castelo Branco region as lowly non-league Sertanense took on high flying Olhanense currently in third position in the top flight behind Porto and Benfica.

The visitors rested several players including keeper Moretto, João Gonçalves and Paulo Sérgio. Around 1,500 spectators turned up – the normal crowd is about 100 – hoping to witness an upset and the first 45 minutes could well have seen the home side take the lead but for some last ditch defending and heroics by defenders and stand-in keeper Ricardo Baptista.

The playing surface was atrocious which didn’t suite the more skilful Olhanense athletes who soon realised the long ball game was the only way to play.  

On the hour mark Jorge Gonçalves replaced Rui Duarte and the visitors looked more dangerous. On 82 minutes, Sertanense had a strong appeal for a penalty turned down and in stoppage time at the end of normal time their manager José Bizarro was sent to the stand by referee Vasco Santos.   

In extra-time Olhanense manager Daúto Faquirá sent on young centre-forward Matias but both sides seemed content to see the decision go to penalties. Djalmir, Cadu, João Gonçalves and Lulinha all scored while the home side could only find the net once through Toni. 4-1 and the Algarveans returned home safely in the knowledge that they would be in the hat for the fourth round to be played on the weekend of November 20/21.