Lázaro Oliveira left Portimonense after the defeat against União da Madeira

Paying the penalty

Last Saturday afternoon Portimonense failed to take advantage of the first of the four possible remaining opportunities to reclaim third spot in the table and access to the play-offs.
The Algarveans survived an early onslaught in Madeira and should have taken the lead shortly before the interval when referee Luís Ferreira awarded a penalty against União. Unfortunately, captain Ricardo Pessoa saw his attempt saved by the keeper to hand the initiative back to the home side, for whom Hugo Morais made no mistake from an identical situation four minutes after the re-start.
Portimonense stepped up the tempo thereafter in search of an equaliser but were caught out by two excellent Madeira counter attacks, converted by substitute Adilson during the closing minutes to establish the somewhat flattering 3-0 final scoreline.
The defeat came as a bitter blow as news filtered through that promotion rivals Aves lost to a late penalty at Chaves-Aves, thus retaining the third play-off spot on 62 points, one ahead of Portimonense, while Chaves, who will host the Algarveans on Sunday week, are now on 60.
As that particular battle heated up, Moreirense celebrated promotion with a 1-0 success over Braga, while Penafiel look certain to book the second automatic place after holding Covilhã to a goalless draw.
Unfortunately, the fifth consecutive game without a win proved the last straw for manager Lázaro Oliveira, who left the club on Monday afternoon (April 21) by mutual consent stating that he had nothing more to give to the team.
Portimonense, under the temporary guidance of long-serving physio José Augusto, now play mid-table Viseu this Sunday afternoon (April 27), Aves receive 17th placed Covilhã and Chaves travel to Penafiel. However, all three could still be surprised by the late charge of Tondela, currently on 59 points, who play lowly Leixões next.
By Skip Bandele [email protected]