Portimonense: Gunned down

Liga Bwin: Sporting Braga 3-0 Portimonense

Portimonense not only lost their first away match of the season but were also comprehensively outplayed in Braga last Monday evening with Brazilian ‘Gunner’ Galeno in the starring role.

The 24-year-old gave Portimonense keeper Samuel Portugal no chance with a powerful finish from the edge of the area as early as the sixth minute to initiate a bombardment which saw the Algarveans have just five shots to Braga’s 18 all match despite enjoying an almost equal share of possession.

A well-saved Renato Júnior header proved to be the only interruption to relentless Braga first half pressure, forcing manager Paulo Sérgio to change his tactics with a 36th-minute double substitution, replacing Renato and Pedro Sá with Shoya Nakajima and Angulo.

The changes would have resulted in a more balanced second period of play had another Galeno blockbuster shortly after the interval not left Sérgio’s men chasing a 2-0 deficit for the remainder of the encounter. A more match-fit Nakajima, who was beginning to show glimmers of his old form, would have buried a 78th-minute one-on-one opportunity instead of shooting straight at the goalkeeper, with Matheus also doing well subsequently with good saves at the feet of the fleet-footed Japanese winger as well as fellow forward Angulo. However, it was man-of-the-match Galeno who provided the closing highlight when setting up Mario González for an easy finish in time added on to establish the final score line.

Portimonense, now in sixth place on 14 points, take on lowly but improving Belenenses SAD next at the Portimão Municipal Stadium this Saturday evening.