Vitória de Setúbal 1-1 Portimonense
Portimonense quickly equalised after falling behind early on during last Friday night’s opening match of the league programme and went on to dominate without finding the winner largely thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from Setúbal keeper Cristiano.
Manager Vítor Oliveira’s men were still finding their feet when André Pereira let fly from outside the area to put Setúbal ahead after two minutes. Far from being shocked, however, Portimonense came storming back and, following three corners and two near misses in quick succession, Dener was at hand to head in a Nakajima cross and restore parity with under a quarter-of-an-hour played.
Thereafter, Tabata should have done better when put through by another clever Nakajima pass, but his effort was blocked before skidding into touch off the post. Portimonense keeper Ricado Ferreira was then called into action on several occasions at the other end but was never seriously tested.
Setúbal came back into the game during the second half with both teams creating half-chances but were fortunate to remain at full strength after referee Luís Ferreira failed to punish José Semedo’s violent 78th-minute tackle on Ewerton which sent the Portimonense playmaker to hospital.
With six minutes remaining on the clock, Ricardo Ferreira did well to keep out a stinging shot, Emrah pulling his follow-up wide. But, at the death, it was his opposite number’s turn to shine, Cristiano bravely denying Lucas and Dener (twice) to secure a share of the points.
“It was a fair result, but we could have won it at the end,” Oliveira said afterwards. Portimonense now enjoy a two-week break which should allow Fabrício and Ewerton to recover from their injuries before 14th-placed Moreirense are the visitors to the municipal stadium on Saturday, March 31.
By SKIP BANDELE