Portimonense: Home and away

Under the circumstances Portimonense acquitted themselves well at last weekend’s four-way inaugural Copa Ibérica, suffering two narrow defeats in the space of 24 hours to finish fourth.

Porto had already overcome Bétis 5-4 in a Friday night penalty shoot-out after the match had ended 1-1 in normal time to secure their place in Sunday’s final when manager António Folha’s largely experimental team took on Getafe on Saturday evening.

he Spaniards, who finished a very respectable fifth in last season’s La Liga table, were always going to provide a stern test but were held to a goalless draw during which Portimonense could have snatched victory on several occasions. Unfortunately, the Algarveans succumbed in the subsequent spot kick lottery, Getafe emerging the 3-2 winners.

Folha’s men then had barely 12 hours to recover ahead of facing Betis in the third and fourth place play-off match on Sunday morning – going 2-0 down, a spectacular Paulinho second half consolation strike then reducing arrears to produce the 2-1 final score.

That left Porto to dispute the final with Getafe later that day, the Portuguese championship runners-up coming from behind with two second half goals to claim the pre-season trophy with a 2-1 victory.

At the same time, Portimonense’s U-23 side were engaged in a similar four-way summer tournament in Varzim, defeating Porto B 1-0 before losing 3-1 to the hosts in the final with Qatar’s Al Duhail U-23s making up the numbers.

Portimonense were back in action on Wednesday evening (played after the Resident went to press) when top French club Lille were the visitors to the Municipal Stadium.

In other news, Folha is set to sign a new five-year contract taking his present tenure up to 2024. The 48-year-old former Porto B coach has stated that he is happy with the potential of his squad but is still looking for improvements in certain areas. An agreement has been reached to ensure the continued stay of Jackson Martinez, but a further proven goal scorer is a priority. Meanwhile, the imminent arrival of 19-year-old Brazilian attacking left back Helio Junior from Atlético Mineiro is seen as a major boost to the defensive unit in the medium term.