LIGA BWIN: ESTORIL 0-1 PORTIMONENSE
Portimonense took a big step towards securing continued first division football for next season by securing a vital 1-0 away win over immediate rivals Estoril last Saturday afternoon.
With only six matches of the current campaign remaining, the Algarveans now enjoy a five-point advantage vis-à-vis their most recent opponents whilst Marítimo (play-off position), Paços Ferreira and Santa Clara (both in the relegation places) trail manager Paulo Sérgio’s men by eight, 13 and 15 points, respectively.
Another success at home on Sunday against league table neighbours Gil Vicente should make absolutely sure of 2023/24 top-class status.
Portimonense began Saturday’s encounter well, with Carlinhos, Yony and Welinton Júnior laying siege to the Estoril goal during the opening quarter of an hour.
When the host then turned the tables, they found goalkeeper Kosuke Nakamura barring the way, the Japanese international producing a great double save from Pedro Álvaro and further excelling in keeping out João Marques and Carlos Eduardo before the interval.
The game reached its decisive phase two-thirds of the way through a somewhat less eventful second half, a 78th-minute double substitution immediately resulting in the winner with Gonçalo Costa, subbed in for Maurício, providing the cross for Yony-replacement Yago Cariello to bundle home – game over.
By SKIP BANDELE