LIGA NOS: PORTIMONENSE 3-0 VITÓRIA DE GUIMARÃES
Portimonense added another convincing win to their recent success on Madeira with perhaps one of the best home performances of the season so far against Vitória de Guimarães.
The visitors were stunned as early as the fifth minute when Lucas Possignolo was allowed the luxury of a free header from a Luquinha corner for the 1-0 lead.
Manager Paulo Sérgio’s well organised team continued to control proceedings for the remainder of the half and went into the break the deserved leaders.
A defensive misunderstanding immediately following the restart could easily have allowed Portimonense to double their advantage, but on this occasion the in-form Beto rolled the ball wide of an open goal. That miss was almost punished five minutes later when former Tottenham Hotspur winger Marcus Edwards unleashed a vicious strike which highly-rated keeper Samuel Portugal excelled to keep out.
Another Samuel save from Edwards later, Portimonense re-established their dominance as referee Manuel Oliveira adjudged Oscar’s high challenge on Beto in the area to have been penalty-worthy, a decision subsequently confirmed by VAR.
Team captain Dener duly converted the resulting spot kick and Beto killed off any remaining hopes of a Guimarães comeback soon after, collecting an Aylton Boa Morte pass in midfield, before driving home a powerful left-footed shot from the edge of the area. There was still time for Oscar and Boa Morte to go close at either end thereafter, but the result stood until the final whistle.
The back-to-back victories, combined with favourable outcomes elsewhere, now see Portimonense heading up the lower half of the table, 29 points to the good in ninth place.
One counter behind is the trio composed of Gil Vicente, Tondela and Rio Ave, all further penalised by inferior goal differences, followed by Famalicão and Belenenses on 27 points. Further adrift are Boavista and Marítimo on 25 and 24 respectively, whilst the two automatic relegation places are occupied by Farense and Nacional with 22 and 21 points on the board.
Next up for the much-improved Algarveans is a Sunday trip to Famalicão ahead of a mid-week visit south from Benfica. A busy seven days is then rounded off by the local derby in Faro the following Sunday afternoon, April 25.
By SKIP BANDELE