Portimonense: double trouble


Portimonense put up a good performance at high-flying Braga last Thursday night albeit once again coming away empty-handed.

Beto in particular caused the home defence all kinds of problems early on before crossing the ball from the by-line in the 24th minute for Aylton Boa Morte to guide the ball past the stranded Matheus in the Braga goal. The 23-year-old forward himself was put clean through by Luquinha just before the interval, but this time the keeper reacted well to prevent the lead from being doubled.

Shortly after the hour mark, a Piazon thunderbolt, which left Samuel, back in goal following an injury to Ricardo Ferreira during the first half, with no chance, levelled the scores – minutes before Ricardo Horta added injury to insult from the penalty spot as a result of having been fouled by Possignolo.

Approaching the final whistle, Matheus pulled off a double save to make sure all three points stayed in the north, much to the dismay of manager Paulo Sérgio and watching majority shareholder Theodoro Fonseca.

Plainly unhappy with the ‘work’ of referee Rui Costa, the latter subsequently stated that he was “tired of the hypocrisy” and was seriously considering “getting out of Portuguese football”, adding that “it would be best to leave the circus and let the clowns run the show”.

Another challenge awaited on Tuesday evening with Paços de Ferreira, fifth in the table, providing the away opposition. This time an even better showing merited more than a share of the points, but a combination of poor finishing and good defending by the hosts maintained the stalemate until the end.

Manager Paulo Sérgio’s men enjoyed the majority of possession and plenty of shots on target while permitting Paços de Ferreira, deprived of influential on-loan midfielder Bruno Costa, very few opportunities.

Dener and Beto spurned good chances before intense hail briefly interrupted proceedings, Dener shooting over again when clear halfway through the second half. At the death, Bruno Moreira finally beat keeper Jordi only to see Marco Baixinho scrape his effort off the goal line.

The single point gained combined with results elsewhere leaves the lower half of the table headed up by Rio Ave on 19 points closely bunched, with Portimonense and Gil Vicente in joint 14th place only three counters behind and ahead of the bottom three featuring Famalicão, Boavista and Farense – the two face each other at the Municipal Stadium this Sunday afternoon for another ‘must win’ clash.

Off the pitch, Keisuke Honda was finally officially unveiled as a Portimonense player, albeit too late. League regulations require new players to have been registered by the time the January transfer window closed last Monday, something which the club failed to do. Fortunately, this rule does not apply to amateurs, allowing another late arrival from Japan, Toki Hirosawa, to gain experience with the Algarveans’ U-23 team.