Portimonense coach Paulo Sérgio during last Sunday’s away match against Oliveirense at Estádio Carlos Osório, in Oliveira de Azeméis Photo: RUI MANUEL FARINHA/LUSA

Portimonense: Cup fever!

Taça de Portugal / FA Cup (third round):
Oliveirense 2-2 (3-3 after extra time, 4-5 penalties) Portimonense
Cinfães 0-4 Farense
Castro Daire 1-1 (1-4 penalties) Olhanense
Louletano 1-2 Estrela da Amadora

Next league match:
Liga Bwin: Portimonense (5th) v Estoril (4th)- Sunday, 8.30pm

Portimonense manager Paulo Sérgio made several changes to his usual starting eleven for last Sunday evening’s Cup tie at third division Oliveirense, Iranian national keeper Payam making his debut while Shoya Nakajima made his first appearance since his summer return from Porto following an eight-month injury break.

The pair enjoyed contrasting fortunes during a highly entertaining encounter, the Japanese forward remaining largely anonymous while Payam assumed a starring role. The action on the pitch heated up in the 19th minute when a perfectly executed Lucas Fernandes lob was cleared off the goal line, only for Renato Junior to head home from the resulting corner for his first senior goal.

Only the crossbar prevented Willyan from doubling the Portimonense lead shortly afterwards, allowing Luizinho to restore parity at the other end after Payam had managed to parry his first effort against the woodwork. The keeper saved well from João Paredes just before the interval to ensure the score remained level, and it only took 10 minutes into the second period of play for Renato to put the Algarveans back in front with some neat footwork in the area.

Oliveirense goalie Nuno Silva then proved his worth with great stops from Renato and Lucas, providing his team with the opportunity to equalise once more from the penalty spot with five minutes remaining on the clock – Payam kept out Paredes’ initial kick but was powerless to prevent the same player following up to make it 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes.

Silva shone again with saves from Fabrício and Aylton Boa Morte during the first period of extra time but was finally beaten by his own defender Simão attempting to clear a Carlinhos cross. However, the twists and turns continued as Filipe Alves drew the home side level at the death for a third time when overcoming Payam at the second attempt and thus taking the match into a penalty shoot-out.

Of the resulting five spot-kicks, Payam successfully defended Onohara’s third attempt while Moufi converted the last of Portimonense’s efforts leaving Sérgio’s men to celebrate a hard-earned victory.

Of the other remaining Algarve teams, Louletano were eliminated, but Farense and Olhanense joined Portimonense in today’s (Thursday) fourth round draw.
Portimonense return to league action at home this Sunday evening when a win against equally high-flying Estoril Praia would see them cement a claim for European football next year at this early stage of the current season.

In other news, Porto completed the full transfer of Manafá by paying the outstanding €4 million for the remaining 60% of the ex-Portimonense player’s economic rights. Meanwhile, another ‘old boy’, Beto, continued his good start to life in Italy by scoring the equaliser for 10th-placed Udinense during their 1-1 weekend draw with Bologna having previously contributed to a 3-3 draw with Sampdoria.