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Portimonense – Away trips

Portimonense survived a difficult encounter at fifth-placed Penafiel to come away with a hard-earned away point after drawing 2-2.

Manager Vítor Oliveira’s men were caught napping early, sustained home pressure paying off as Gonçalo Abreu opened the scoring in the 12th minute before doubling Penafiel’s advantage from the penalty spot after Ewerton was adjudged to have tackled Rafa Sousa unfairly by referee João Mendes.

However, in contrast to previous seasons, the Algarveans retained both shape and composure to earn a penalty of their own which allowed Ricardo Pessoa to reduce the deficit just before the interval.

The visitors began the second half with more purpose and it was Lumor who benefited from a degree of confusion amongst the Penafiel back row as his curled shot evaded both defenders and keeper Coelho for the equaliser on the hour mark.

With the match delicately poised at two a piece, the referee handed the home side the opportunity to grab all three points, but on this occasion Ricardo Ferreira was equal to the third spot kick of the game and saved well from Fernando Andrade.

There was still time for his opposite number Coelho to keep out a good Paulinho effort as the match ended in a just share of the spoils.

Closest rivals Aves closed the gap on Portimonense to four points thanks to a 1-0 win over Vitória de Guimarães B, but third and fourth-placed Académica and Santa Clara remain 19 and 20 points adrift, respectively, after sharing a 1-1 draw.

Next up for Vítor Oliveira’s promotion favourites is another away trip, this time to mid-table União da Madeira, while Aves are hosted by Vizela.

Ahead of those Saturday afternoon league fixtures, Portimonense enjoyed a midweek friendly with the Luiz Felipe Scolari-coached six-time Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande, who were at the end of their Portuguese pre-season training camp.

Played behind closed doors at the Jamor Football City complex, the game featured the likes of ex-Porto striker Jackson Fernandez and former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho amongst the opposition, while providing for the unofficial debut of new Portimonense signing Hudson.

The match finished 4-3 in the Chinese team’s favour with Ewerton (2) and Fabrício getting on the score sheet for the Algarveans.


Photo: Portimonense coach Vítor Oliveira