Own goal from promotion hopefuls

Portimonense suffered only their fourth defeat of the season when defender Ivo Nicolau deflected a Galeno shot past stranded keeper Ricardo Ferreira just after the interval to hand FC Porto B the win.

Prior to kick-off, manager Vitor Oliveira pleaded for a future rule-change as he faced a selection problem with on-loan Porto players Mata, Gleison and Fidelis Irhene all ineligible handing rare starts to Tabata, Sarpong and Brendon.

Nonetheless the Algarveans made a bright start as home keeper Gudino was forced to make important saves from Paulinho (pictured) and Pires during the opening half-hour. Following Nicolau’s misfortune at the re-start, Porto enjoyed more of the game with Varela going close to adding a second, but Portimonense would still have been good value for at least a draw except for Gudino’s continuing good work between the posts keeping out a Nicolau header sandwiched between two close Fabricio efforts.

Unfortunately, the all-important equaliser failed to materialise and the 1-0 score-line stood helping Porto out of the bottom-of-the-table four-club relegation zone.

The reversal only turned out to be a minor blow to Portimonense’s promotion charge however, as closest rivals Aves were held to a 1-1 home draw by Braga B while up-and-coming Varzim showed little ambition during a goalless encounter with Santa Clara. Thus, going into this Saturday morning’s televised 11.15am home clash with mid-table Famalicão, Portimonense still enjoy a 10-point cushion over second-placed Aves who travel to struggling Leixões exactly 24 hours later.

Meanwhile, a division below, Farense’s efforts to return to the professional ranks under the stewardship of former Portimonense coach Lázaro Oliveira gained momentum with a 2-0 promotion play-off away win over previously unbeaten Fátima. Farense, one point behind leaders Torreense after four games, next go to mini-table second-from-bottom Real on Sunday.