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Portimonense heading up

The aerial prowess of Brazilian central defender Jadson is proving to be pivotal to Portimonense’s increasingly credible end-of-season promotion challenge.

In mid-week, the tall 24-year-old put the Algarveans 2-0 ahead against Vitória de Guimarães B before the break, rising above the defence to head home well taken Ricardo Pessoa corners on each occasion. Zambujo then made it three immediately after the re-start before Rafinha grabbed a consolation goal for the visitors.

That win was followed by a hard-fought encounter with Atlético in Lisbon on Sunday afternoon which saw the Jadson-Pessoa partnership provide the fireworks once again.

The relegation-threatened hosts caught Portimonense napping when taking the lead through Gervini in the first minute before Zambujo, Pessoa and Jadson all squandered chances to level the match.

After the interval, home keeper Danilo and referee Jorge Ferreira did their best to keep manager José Augusto’s men at bay with several top saves and a wrongly disallowed Marcel strike maintaining the score line. The man in black then added insult to injury when pointing to the penalty spot, Celestino successfully converting in the 66th minute to make it 2-0. Further farce and ultimate redemption was to follow.

After Danilo had denied Fidelis twice in quick succession from open play, the keeper became even more the centre of attention when Mr Ferreira decided to award another penalty, this time in Portimonense’s favour. Danilo blocked Pessoa’s effort but brought down Pires who was attempting to follow up. Pessoa made sure the ball ended up in the back of the net at the second time of asking and, with the minutes ticking away, Jadson met a Jean Felipe cross to ensure a share of the spoils.

The win and draw coupled with favourable results elsewhere on both match days now sees Portimonense in the second promotion place, three points behind Chaves and two ahead of chasing Freamunde.

With only four fixtures remaining including mid-table Penafiel home on Sunday, bottom side Oliveirense away next weekend and a top-of-the-table clash with Chaves in the Algarve on Sunday, May 8, Premier League football is within touching distance.