LIGA NOS: PORTIMONENSE 2-1 FAMALICÃO
Portimonense ended their six-month winless home run with victory over third-placed Famalicão at the Municipal Stadium last Saturday night.
A tactical change introducing Fernando Medeiros in midfield allowed manager António Folha’s team to dominate during the opening 45 minutes with wingers Dener and Aylton Boa Morte in particular, causing the opposition any number of problems. The pair combined well to go close on two occasions before Anzai missed an open goal in the 19th minute after Henrique had put Jackson Martinez through.
Thereafter, aptly-named Famalicão keeper Rafael Defendi did well to keep out a Dener header, but cut a less dashing figure with just over half an hour played when allowing a first-time shot from the 27-year-old Brazilian, set up by Boa Morte on the edge of the area, to squirm under his body.
The setback produced a response after the restart, with the visitors enjoying much more of the possession in search of an equaliser, home keeper Ricardo Ferreira producing a string of good saves from the likes of Toni Martinez and Pedro Gonçalves.
However, the tide turned once more with 20 minutes to play, Roderick bringing down live-wire Boa Morte in the area to prompt faultless referee Iancu Vasilica to point to the spot. Confirmed by VAR, Lucas Possignolo stepped up to coolly slot home and double Portimonense’s lead.
More drama was to follow, a Gonçalves strike hitting the foot of the post, before Ferreira illegally dispossessed Schiappacasse with the game already in injury time. Again, the VAR review confirmed the referee’s penalty decision, Ferreira then parrying Fábio Martins’ resulting spot kick put proving powerless to prevent the striker’s follow-up.
There was still time for Defendi to push away a Romulo effort, but this time Portimonense were not to be denied, running out the deserved 2-1 winners.
“We played a very good first half and learnt from past mistakes to keep our heads in the second,” Folha said afterwards.
Hopefully, Portimonense, now three points clear of the relegation places, can maintain the momentum at seventh-placed Vitória de Guimarães next Sunday afternoon in their quest for mid-table safety.
Less positive was the post-match news that influential midfielder Paulinho is on his way to China. The 25-year-old who arrived in Portimão during the 2016/17 season before enjoying a less successful spell with Porto during the second half of last season, came on as a substitute last Sunday following a two-month injury lay-off, but subsequently announced his departure for Hebei China Fortune.
Off the pitch, the weekend also featured the unveiling of the club’s own first of two newly converted team buses. Sporting all the latest mod-cons, and blessed by the Portimão parish priest, the strikingly painted vehicle is designed to transport the U-23 side to away fixtures in comfort while the first team equivalent will be ready shortly.
By SKIP BANDELE