Portimonense – Capital punishment

Belenenses 3-2 Portimonense

A see-saw contest between two teams with little to play for other than pride ended in a somewhat fortuitous win for the home side in Lisbon last Saturday afternoon.

Portimonense dominated the opening quarter-of-an-hour and it did not take long for Fabrício to put through Shoya Nakajima who coolly chipped the prone Muriel in the Belenenses goal for the first strike.

However, the early setback served as a wake-up call for the home side, third-choice Portimonense keeper Carlos producing a good save before a trip by under-pressure defender Hackman led to referee Luís Ferreira pointing to the penalty spot just before the half-hour mark.

The successful conversion by Maurides levelled the scores and prompted manager Vítor Oliveira’s men to renew their efforts, Nakajima turning provider after 39 minutes for Fabrício to restore the visitors’ lead. The Japanese forward almost made it 3-1 before the interval, but his long-distance volley only grazed the Belenenses crossbar.

The second half continued to produce chances at either end, but it was the hosts who found the back of the net when a Nathan cross was bundled home by Licá at the far post. With the match finely balanced at two a piece, Portimonense were pushing for the winner, the woodwork keeping out Nakajima once more before three successive corners failed to produce a further goal.

The action then switched back to the other end, Carlos saving from the predatory Maurides before the referee awarded a second penalty of the afternoon to the home side for a high tackle from Ruben Fernandes who appeared to make contact with the ball ahead of the oncoming player.

Once again, Maurides stepped up, his confident strike for the 3-2 completing the turn-around. There was still time for Pires to connect with a firm header on target before the final whistle, but Muriel did well to come off his line to punch clear and condemn Portimonense to their fourth defeat in a row.

Vítor Oliveira, who is about to put pen to paper for another season, was highly critical of the referee after the game. “The penalty for their third goal should never have been given,” he said. “The first was already doubtful, Fabrício’s yellow card was a joke, and I now have four players with cautions and at risk of suspension with a further three already forced to sit out the next game.”

Portimonense, nonetheless safe on 35 points, six clear of the relegation places, will conclude their present campaign at home against Paços de Ferreira this Sunday afternoon.

Caption: Vítor Oliveira was highly critical of the referee after the game