LIGA PORTUGAL BWIN: PORTIMONENSE 2-1 VITÓRIA DE GUIMARÃES
Portimonense emerged the winners of a fiercely contested encounter with Guimarães, who arrived in the Algarve on the back of two season-opening victories, last Sunday night having successfully weathered a first-half onslaught by the visitors.
Outstanding keeper Samuel Portugal was forced into a great save from André Almeida as early as the 11th minute and when appeared to be beaten by Ruben Lameiras just after the half-hour mark, Pedrão was on hand to block the goal-bound effort.
Tiago Silva then saw his free kick rebound off the Portimonense crossbar before Samuel was back in action with an important double save just before the break.
The incessant Guimarães pressure finally paid off immediately after the restart when Almeida dispossessed Moustapha Seck to set up Jota for the opener. The setback, however, only served as a wake-up call and manager Paulo Sérgio’s men, now featuring half-time substitutes Ewerton and Luquinha, proceeded to take the game to the visitors with Welinton Júnior threating on several occasions before finally latching on to a Moufi cross and bundling home the equaliser after Varela had parried his first-time header.
Neither side was going to be satisfied with a share of the points as Samuel kept out Lameiras while Varela did equally well at the other end in getting his hands to a Yago Cariello header. But the Guimarães keeper had no chance when Portimonense’s new centre forward was again in the right place to firmly meet Seck’s 88th-minute whipped-in cross from the by-line for the winner. And there was still time for Samuel to show just why several clubs are interested in his services when producing another brilliant stop to deny André Amaro and hold on to victory.
Portimonense next travel to Madeira on Saturday with hopes of improving even further on their current fourth place in the table with opponents Marítimo showing very little fighting spirit during their latest 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Braga.
In other news, second choice keeper Payam Niazmand has joined Iranian side Sepahan on loan while Willyan appears to be on his way to CSKA Moscow in a €1.5 million deal plus add-ons. The Brazilian’s probable departure leaves the Algarveans looking for a replacement central defender as well as a winger to cover for the injured Anderson Oliveira before the transfer window shuts next week.
By SKIP BANDELE