Portimonense: BIG points


Portimonense moved out of the relegation zone for the first time this calendar year thanks to a win over Boavista while immediate rivals Vitória de Setúbal and Tondela suffered consecutive defeats within the space of six days.

With two matches remaining, the bottom of the table is now headed up by Belenenses in 14th place on 31 points (played Braga last night after the Resident went to press) followed by Tondela, Portimonense and Setúbal, all on 30, the last-mentioned having the worst goal difference – already relegated Aves are 18th and last.

Portimonense now travel to lowly Paços de Ferreira on Monday before their concluding ‘Super Sunday’- all clubs play simultaneously at 4pm – home encounter with Aves. That ‘ask’ must put them in top division survival pole position given that Tondela take on Braga (h) and Moreirense (a) while Setúbal face Sporting Lisbon (a) and Belenenses (h).

As to the action played out over the past week, last Thursday’s away match against Rio Ave saw Portimonense continue the good form shown since the re-start without enjoying the best of luck. An early header from Ricardo Vaz Tê initiated first half superiority which could easily have resulted in more goals but for some excellent work from veteran Polish keeper Kieszek. And then there was some indecisive refereeing, man in black Rui Costa taking for ever to consult VAR before allowing the home side a 35th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot for the slightest contact between a Rio Ave cross and Portimonense captain Jadson’s arm.

After the break it was the home side which benefited from the strong wind now at their backs. Without either team getting anywhere near a winner for a long time, the elements finally played their part in the 91st minute, a gusty corner kick from Filipe Augusto being carried past Gonda, possibly unsighted by the setting sun, into the Portimonense goal for the unkindest of finishes.

Undeterred, manager Paulo Sergio’s men continued where they left off back home against Boavista on Tuesday evening, this time gaining just rewards for yet another dominant performance.

Despite Helton Leite performing ‘miracles’ in the away goal throughout the match, producing a string of stunning saves from the likes of Lucas Fernandes, Júnior Tavares, Vaz Tê and Fali Candé, the tall Brazilian was beaten twice during the first half. Willyan met a Tabata corner with a powerful header at the far post in the 14th minute for the opener while Lucas Possignolo doubled the advantage from the penalty spot shortly before the interval. A second yellow card of the night for Yusupha then reduced the visitors to ten men during the final quarter of an hour and even a late consolation dead ball strike from Marlon could not take the shine off a most important of victories.