LIGA BWIN: PORTIMONENSE 1-0 GIL VICENTE
A second successive 1-0 win, this time at home over Gil Vicente, ensured that Portimonense are now also mathematically safe from becoming involved in the direct relegation dogfight involving Paços Ferreiras and Santa Clara.
With only five games remaining – Braga (away this Saturday afternoon), Casa Pia (a), Benfica (h), Santa Clara (a), Arouca (h) – the chances of slipping into the third-from-bottom relegation play-off place, currently occupied by Marítimo, 11 points in arrears, are also very remote.
Meanwhile, back at the Municipal Stadium, manager Paulo Sérgio’s men almost got off to a perfect start when Yony had the ball in the back of the net after only four minutes, only for VAR to adjudge Park to have been six centimetres offside during the build-up. Portimonense continued to dominate proceedings until the break, with Rui Gomes and Maurício coming close to opening the scoring on several occasions.
Immediately following the restart, Carlinhos, who has just signed a new contract, initiated a counterattack which resulted in Maurício giving the hosts the lead, Moufi providing the final assist.
Thus startled into action, Gil Vicente now began to threaten and were unlucky not to find themselves level in the 68th minute when Murilo hit the crossbar, keeper Kosuke Nakamura produced a miraculous save to prevent Fran Navarro from following up, the Spanish forward ultimately striking the post with his second bite at the cherry.
He did finally manage to beat Nakamura moments later, but this time from a clearly offside position. Thereafter, Portimonense regained their composure and Gomes should really have doubled the advantage but missed an open goal close to the end of the match.
By SKIP BANDELE