Portimonense player Dener (left) fights for the ball with FC Porto player Otávio during a First League match at Portimão Stadium on Saturday Photo: LUIS FORRA/LUSA

Portimonense: Blood, sweat…and tears


Portimonense gave their all during a combative encounter last Saturday evening which reigning champions and Champions League quarter finalists FC Porto were somewhat fortunate to emerge with all three points from.

In light of what was to follow, the opening period of play proved relatively uneventful but for Anzai coming close to giving the Algarveans an early lead, his fifth-minute lob of keeper Marchesin drifting just wide of the upright.

The match had already entered first half injury time when a cross into the Portimonense area eventually ended up in the back of the net courtesy of an outstretched Lucas Possignolo leg. That unfortunate own goal lead was almost nullified before the whistle went as Beto closed in on his target at the other end, but Marchesin did well to save with his feet.

Following the restart, Portimonense No1 Samuel successfully saw off serious efforts from Porto stars Marega and Taremi before Fali Cande both initiated, and finished off, a flowing move involving Dener and Beto for his first senior goal not long after the hour mark.

Unfortunately, parity lasted all of three minutes, a Sérgio Oliveira free kick rebounding off the Portimonense woodwork, and then the blameless keeper’s back, on its way across the goal line.

The supposed foul, leading up to what proved to be the winner, subsequently provoked a heated discussion on the sidelines between Paulo Sérgio and Sérgio Conceição, the two coaches having to be physically separated before being banished to the stands by an assistant referee.

Once play could be resumed, the two red cards were immediately followed by three of the yellow variety for Marchesin, Beto and Maurício, contributing to the overall loss of rhythm accentuated even further by no less than eight substitutions during the remaining quarter of an hour – and there was still time for Pedro Sá to add to referee Rui Costa’s tally of bookings when receiving his marching orders seven minutes beyond ‘normal’ time.

Heading into the pre-Easter international break, the lower half of the league table is now led by Rio Ave and Belenenses on 27 and 26 points respectively, followed by Tondela and Gil Vicente, both on 25. Portimonense share 13th place with Famalicão on 23 points, one ahead of Farense; Marítimo, Boavista and Nacional, who face Paulo Sérgio’s men on Madeira next weekend, are currently joint last with 21 points on the board with eleven games remaining.