Olhanense unbeaten    

By CHRIS WRIGHT sport@algarveresident.com

A 1-1 draw against Europa League play-off winners Nacional in Madeira last Monday ensured that Olhanense remained unbeaten in Liga Sagres.

The previous week Nacional drew away 1-1 with FC Zenit St. Petersburg to eliminate the Russians, who were UEFA Cup Winners Champions 2008.

Olhanense dominated the first 20 minutes and overall had most of the play but could not turn their advantage into goals.

Nacional, fourth last season, got back into the match and in the 58th minute João Aurélio opened their account, converting a cross from Nuno Pinto.

This was the first league goal the visitors had conceded in over 6½ hours play.

Jorge Costa has instilled a fighting spirit into his team and midway through the 2nd half he sacrificed midfielder Rui Baião for forward Zequinha.

The move paid off and, with 13 minutes to go, defender Carlos Fernandes headed home the all important equaliser from a Rui Duarte corner.

Olhanense had opportunities to win the game and Costa felt it was two points lost rather than one gained.

He said: “I’m disappointed with the result. I wait to see the video replays but the players tell me that we had two strong penalty appeals waved away. But I have no doubt that Miguel Garcia was fouled in the build up to the Nacional goal.”

Hugo Miguel, officiating in his first game of the season, brandished the yellow card nine times.

Sp.Braga top the table with maximum points from their three games whilst Benfica, who thrashed V.Setubal 8-0 last Monday, and Porto are close behind with 7points. Olhanense are 9th.

With a break for World Cup qualifiers this week it gives Olhanense an opportunity to inaugurate their new floodlights. Tonight (Friday), kick-off 9.00pm, a team from Belenenses visit Olhão to officially unveil the ‘new’ José Arcanjo Stadium where 900,000 euros has been spent on upgrading the ground.

The next home game is against Academica next weekend (date yet to be fixed) and on September 20 the team travel to Lisbon to take on Sporting.

Last season’s top goalscorer Djalmir continues to make good progress after surgery to his knee. He recently received his ‘Player of the Year’ award from Brian Evans and Pete Tye at a lunch in Olhão.