Portimonense firing blanks

As against Braga the previous weekend, manager Vítor Oliveira’s top division new boys played well during Friday’s 2-0 away defeat at Rio Ave without having anything to show for their efforts at the end of the evening.

The opening exchanges provided both Portimonense keeper Ricardo Ferreira and his opposite number Cassio with plenty of action, the latter enjoying a slice of good fortune when racing out of his area just past the half-hour mark to intercept the advancing Fabrício with what referee João Pinheiro adjudged to have been his chest rather than his arm. Five minutes later, Portimonense were thwarted once more, the cross bar preventing a firmly placed Wellington header entering the net on this occasion.

The Algarveans were made to regret those missed opportunities soon after the interval as a cool finish from Oscar Barreto beyond the grasp of Ferreira handed Rio Ave the lead.

Despite the setback, Portimonense could easily have been level only minutes later when Cassio failed to hold a Wellington shot, but managed to recover sufficiently to smother the loose ball as it threatened to creep over the goal line.

On the hour, Fabrício failed to get his shot away when picked out by a Lumor cross at the heart of the Rio Ave area and, when the same Brazilian did manage a clean strike five minutes later, it was blocked by a massed defence leading to penalty appeals.

However, after the referee had consulted the recently-introduced video replay and decided not to award a spot kick, the stunned visitors failed to regroup in time to deal with a rapidly constructed counter-attack which resulted in Guedes doubling the hosts’ advantage.

There was still time for the frustrated Fabrício to rattle the Rio Ave crossbar with another powerful drive but this was not to be Portimonense’s night.

“We committed two schoolboy errors which cannot happen at this level,” Oliveira commented afterwards. “Of course we don’t have much experience in the first division, but we have plenty playing football!”

Following two away defeats, Portimonense will be hoping for a change in luck and a return to winning ways when Marítimo make the long trip from Madeira to the municipal stadium on Monday evening for the televised 8pm kick-off.

For that match, Pires should have returned to full fitness while Inácio is expected to have recovered from the injury sustained against Boavista which has kept him out of the last two matches.

Also on the horizon is the arrival of Japanese attacking midfielder Shoya Nakajima on loan from FC Tokyo. The 22-year-old, who represented his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will become the third Japanese player to represent Portimonense following in the footsteps of Nakamura (2009/10) and Mu Kanazaki most recently.