Portimonense: And then there were three

LIGA NOS: PORTIMONENSE 0-1 VITÓRIA DE GUIMARÃES SC

Portimonense were desperately unlucky to suffer their first post-lockdown defeat at home to Vitória de Guimarães last Saturday evening. Coupled with important wins for Paços de Ferreira and Marítimo, allowing those two clubs to draw further away, the relegation battle set-back leaves Vitória de Setúbal, Tondela and Belenenses as the only realistic targets to overtake in the race for top division survival with four matches remaining.

Chasing European football next season, Guimarães were nonetheless second best for most of the match, and were fortunate to see referee Hugo Miguel reverse his penalty decision in Portimão’s favour for an infringement during the build-up to the incident after consulting the VAR review shortly before the half-hour mark.

Five minutes later, another let-off had a Lucas Fernandes pile driver smack against the post before Douglas was called upon to make a good save from the same player. The away keeper was kept busy after the interval until Bruno Duarte was allowed to score a soft goal with a looping header from just inside the area very much against the run of play. A raft of substitutions from both sides robbed the game of much of its intensity thereafter as full time approached.

Next up for manager Paulo Sérgio’s team is today’s (Thursday) difficult trip to sixth-placed Rio Ave before Boavista visit the Algarve next Tuesday. Depending on results elsewhere, Portimonense will hopefully have made up some, if not all, of the four points which currently separate them from safety.

Off the pitch, former coach Vítor Oliveira, who enjoyed two successful spells in charge of the Algarveans, has indicated that he may return in the role of Sporting Director after announcing his imminent departure from current club Gil Vicente.

By SKIP BANDELE