Portimonense: double blow


Portimonense were never able to recover after conceding two early goals against Sporting Lisbon at the Municipal Stadium last Sunday night.

Manager Paulo Sérgio’s attempt to match the visitors’ 3-4-3 formation backfired spectacularly, 18-year-old Nuno Mendes leaving Koke Anzai, Maurício and Willyan in his wake before slotting the ball home past the helpless keeper Samuel after only five minutes. Nuno Santos then made it two, connecting with a whipped Vietto cross for an unstoppable header.

By the time Sérgio hastily reverted to his more usual 4-3-3 set-up 20 minutes into the game, sacrificing debutant Lucas Tagliapietra for Welinton, it was already too late. Sporting were cruising, and only Samuel and the crossbar prevented a bigger deficit as half-time approached.

The Algarveans did get back into the match following the restart, but a string of corner kicks produced little real danger for a very competent Adán in the Sporting goal. Wholesale substitutions by both sides brought on the recently departed Bruno Tabata amongst others, and the former Portimonense star came closest to putting the Lisbonites further ahead when only just failing to beat Samuel. Already in time added on, Adán was forced into his best save of the match from the advancing Vaz Tê, thus denying the hosts a by-then-deserved consolation.

Portimonense, on one point together with Tondela and Paços de Ferreira after three games and only Farense behind, now have the international break, which sees Gonda and Anzai joining the Japan national team, to sort out their starting eleven before resuming action away to Marítimo on October 18.

With the domestic transfer window remaining open for another fortnight, the arrival of two ex-Setúbal players, Carlinhos and José Semedo, is a strong possibility, as is the signing of São Paulo midfielder Luan. Interest from French clubs Rennes and Lille in Lucas Fernandes was successfully fended off, but Lucas Possignolo and Jadson, who is wanted by Turkey’s Trabzonspor, could still be on their way out.