Portimonense - Blown away

Portimonense – Blown away

High winds, torrential rain and poor visibility made Portimonense’s scheduled Saturday afternoon (September 6) landing at Madeira’s Santa Cruz airport impossible, forcing the plane to return to Lisbon.
The long journey from the Algarve to the island in the Atlantic, already interrupted when the club’s coach broke down on the way to Lisbon, finally came to an end in the small hours of Sunday morning when weather conditions improved.
By that time, Portimonense already had a request to postpone the catch-up game by a further 24 hours approved by the league, a decision which was met by vociferous protests from their prospective opponents, who objected to the fact that the 4pm kick-off time would prevent most of their fans from attending the match on a normal working day.
However, 400 supporters (granted free entry) did turn up for the encounter, which was as turbulent as the events which had preceded it, largely thanks to the efforts of Coimbra referee Tiago Antunes, who did little to calm the waters by issuing no less than 16 cautions, including three red cards during the closing 20 minutes.
The game began well for the hosts, reflecting recent form – which had União unbeaten in five matches – whilst their Algarvean opponents were on a five-match losing streak away from home.
However, following a glaring miss by Élio in the ninth minute, Portimonense gradually gained the upper hand, and Fidelis saw his goal-bound effort deflected over the bar shortly before the interval.
A cross into the area from Fernandinho was then turned in by Zambujo not long into the second half to give the improving visitors an invaluable lead, while also opening the floodgates of bookings.
The scorer himself was first to go only minutes after his moment of glory and was soon joined in the dressing room by Madeira’s Soares and Cale.
The final whistle was eventually blown six minutes into injury time to herald Portimonense’s second win of the season and the first away from their municipal stadium.
The Algarveans are back in action tomorrow (September 13) when Sporting B provide the opposition in Lisbon.
By Skip Bandele