Arouca’s Sylla (left) vies for the ball with Portimonense’s Luquinha last Friday at Arouca Municipal Stadium
Arouca’s Sylla (left) vies for the ball with Portimonense’s Luquinha last Friday at Arouca Municipal Stadium Photo: JOSÉ COELHO/LUSA

Portimonense: Freefall


Having secured a safe-looking 20 points during the first half of the season, Portimonense won their last league match at Gil Vicente on November 4, managing a solitary home draw with ten-man Santa Clara since, and scoring only two goals during that entire period.

The latest disaster against Arouca on Friday night was the worst result yet and manager Paulo Sérgio needs to come up with some new ideas quickly or consider making way for someone who can.

The match started badly with Palestinian forward Oday Dabbagh beating the exposed Nakajima in the Portimonense goal after only six minutes. Things got worse, an Alan Ruiz solo effort doubling the home advantage on the half-hour mark before Nakajima excelled in keeping out another Oday shot.

Following the interval, Arouca had a ‘goal’ chalked off for a foul during the build-up, a second yellow and subsequent red card for Moustapha Seck reduced Portimonense to 10 men and Oday made it 3-0. Adding insult to injury, substitute Michel then saw VAR validate his initially flagged off-side 81st-minute strike for the fourth of the night.

Boavista away is next on the agenda Sunday evening, and another potential reversal there will see Portimonense get increasingly drawn into the relegation dogfight at the bottom end of the table.

Meanwhile, two experienced Brazilian reinforcements have arrived in the Algarve on season-end loan agreements, 30-year-old ex-Al-Nasr central defender Lucas Alves and 34-year-old ex-Rodina Moscow midfielder Mauricio Junior.

The pair have been joined by 23-year-old Colombian forward Tonito from Union Magdalena, also on loan with an option to buy. Out is only recently acquired – from Leixões – Nigerian striker Sapara who has joined fellow Algarveans and promotion hopefuls Farense until 2024.