Portimonense: Firing blanks


New manager António Folha saw his side lose 2-0 at home despite dominating play for the third time in as many weeks, Monday night’s opening league match defeat to Boavista following identical results against Rio Ave (League Cup) and Lille (pre-season friendly) previously.

Following an opening half-hour during which little in the way of scoring opportunities were created at either end, Portimonense should have been in front by the break but for the timely interventions of Raphael Silva. The Boavista defender cleared the ball off the goal line in quick succession with his keeper Helton beaten on both occasions, blocking a 39th-minute Hackman header before denying Ruben Fernandes in the 43rd.

Those misses came back to haunt Folha’s men immediately after the restart as David Simão buried a powerful shot from outside the area to give the visitors the unexpected lead. Portimonense then failed to draw level with 20 minutes remaining on the clock when Tabata could only hit the post from the penalty spot and, in what has become a familiar scenario during this early season, André Claro added insult to injury by finishing off a Boavista counter-attack deep into injury time.

“It was not the result we were looking for,” Folha said afterwards. “We created several chances, but the ball is just not going in.”

The blame for Portimonense’s goal drought can be firmly put down to the club’s transfer dealings this summer. The only recognised centre-forwards, last season’s top scorer Fabrício and proven marksman Pires, have been sold or sent out on loan without providing replacements. Taofiq, brought in from third-division Vila Real for the new U-23 team, was given only 10 minutes to adapt during the Boavista game, and a goal scorer proven at this level is still desperately needed before the transfer window closes at the end of August.

In the meantime, Portimonense travel to Chaves this Saturday for the second league match of the present campaign.