LIGA BWIN: PORTIMONENSE 0-0 SANTA CLARA
Portimonense failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity to accumulate another three points against always-possible relegation as mostly ten-man Santa Clara held on to a goalless draw in the Algarve last Friday night.
A total of 21 shots at goal, of which only three Welinton Júnior efforts seriously troubled Azores keeper Gabriel Batista, served to highlight Portimonense’s failure to acquire a proven goal scorer since Beto’s departure for Italy 18 months ago.
Already very defensively minded from the outset, Santa Clara became even more entrenched in their own half from just before the half-hour mark when referee Rui Costa brandished a second yellow and thus red card to defender Pierre Sagna, reducing the visitors to ten men.
Thereafter, Portimonense, lacking in ideas and composure, resorted to a barrage of harmless pot-shots with only the aforementioned back-from-injury Welinton threatening to find the back of the net, hitting the post not long after the break before forcing a great Batista save four minutes into time added on.
Two away trips to Arouca (Friday) and Boavista the following week now beckon before the end of the month and manager Paulo Sérgio must find a way of ending the current goal drought if the Algarveans intend to see out the season in relative mid-table comfort – currently in joint 10th place on 20 points with Rio Ave and Boavista (played one game less), they are nonetheless only six points clear of the relegation zone.
By SKIP BANDELE