portimonense 1.jpg

Portimonense – Firing blanks

Portimonense’s first official game of the new season did not go well as Santa Clara claimed a 1-0 victory to put a premature end to Algarvean League Cup aspirations.

The visitors from the Azores enjoyed the better start and went ahead through Clemente shortly before the half-hour mark. Portimonense dominated the remainder of the encounter without creating any real scoring opportunities until the fifth minute of injury time when Ewerton only managed to plant his free header against the post.

“Bad debut and bad game”, was the terse post-match comment from new coach Vítor Oliveira. “We failed to create chances and the performance was well below my expectations”, he added.

The obvious lack of shooting power up front only underlined the keen sense of loss felt at the abrupt departure for Italy by 2015/16 second division top scorer Simy. His replacement, unveiled during the interval at last Saturday’s Cup tie, is experienced 26-year-old Brazilian Amilton Silva. However, the centre forward’s haul of five goals from 29 starts while amassing 13 yellow cards for União da Madeira over the last playing period does not read well.

Another big hole was left by the now confirmed loan move of Fabrício to top Japanese side Kashima Antlers. His attacking midfield role is expected to be filled by either of two new Brazilian signings, Gustavo and Leo Dreyer. Of the pair, the latter 19-year-old looks more promising having won the Brazilian Championship at both U-15 and U-17 levels while coming through the ranks at Internacional, Palmeiras, Minas Gerais and Grêmio.

Meanwhile the 2016/17 Ledman LigaPRO second division campaign kicks off this weekend with Portimonense taking on Sporting B in Lisbon on Saturday afternoon.