Portimonense: Heads up, thumbs down


Portimonense failed to take advantage of a sluggish start from Boavista, who replaced previous manager Lito Vidigal with Daniel Ramos during the Christmas break, but ultimately rescued a point which did not prevent them from slipping into the relegation places.

Already short of striking options due to the exit of Japan-bound Iury Castilho, the Algarveans were limited even further by failing to register the permanent signing of Jackson Martinez, whose loan arrangement with Guangzhou Evergrande expired on December 31, leaving attacking midfielder Dener and winger Aylton Boa Morte to lead the line.

Under the circumstances, the pair, ably supported by Henrique and Lucas Fernandes, did well to compensate but, in the short term, the club must act swiftly to compensate for recent losses, as well numerous underperforming summer signings, before the January transfer window shuts if it is serious about avoiding a return to second division football at the end of the season.

Last Saturday afternoon, early pressure did translate into a goal, Boa Morte firing past helpless keeper Helton on the half-hour mark, only for a lengthy VAR review to adjudge the scorer to have been fully eight centimetres (half a boot-length) offside.

The hosts returned in better shape after the restart, and on-loan Braga striker Niko Stojiljkovic soon had the ball in the back of the net, albeit by illegal means, having pulled back Portimonense captain Jadson on the way to goal. The Serbian was not to be denied, however, finally heading Boavista into the lead from a Rafael Costa corner with 20 minutes remaining on the clock.

Beto, on for the injured Lucas, almost succeeded in lobbing Helton, but Portimonense’s fate appeared to be sealed once more when Dener popped up in the heart of the Boavista area to head in a late, late equaliser five minutes into time added on.

This Saturday afternoon, the Municipal Stadium welcomes Paços de Ferreira in what will be a must-win relegation clash since the club from the north of Portugal beat Moreirense last weekend to leapfrog the Algarveans.