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Olhanense steal the points

By CHRIS WRIGHT

Without a league win since early October, Olhanense travelled north to take on Rio Ave where the Algarve side recorded a historic 5-1 victory last season.

Manager Daúto Faquirá was without the suspended João Gonçalves and injured Delson, Amoretto and Lulinha.

The home side made a lively start and Olhanense keeper Ricardo Batista had to be alert as Taranti skipped into the box twice in the first ten minutes.

Halfway through the first period the visitors, making a rare incursion into the opposition half, scored through Mauricio.

The tall centre-back converted a Rui Duarte free-kick when he stabbed the ball home.

Shortly before the break the visitors lost Carlos Fernandes through injury with Ismaily taking his place.

After the interval Rio Ave, with over 60% of the possession, continued to press forward but the Algarveans stood firm with Batista, Mauricio and Jardel in fine form.

Jardel may be on his way to German Bundesliga side Hannover96, who were among a number of scouts present.

The last ten minutes saw Batista make several fine saves, including two from Yazalde who had scored for Olhanense against Rio Ave last season.

This 1-0 win moves Olhanense into ninth place, only three points off a UEFA Europa League qualifying position.

After fifteen games, the halfway mark for the season, only Porto have achieved a better performance over last season.

Porto, running away with the league leadership, are nine points better off whilst Olhanense have amassed eight more points.

A truly remarkable achievement for the team with the lowest playing budget in the league.

Fair play award

The Union of Professional Footballers (SJPF) recently presented the Champions Fair Play Trophy to Olhanense for coming top of the Fair Play League in November, the first time the club has won this prestigious award.