LIGA NOS: PORTIMONENSE 1-2 SANTA CLARA
Last Sunday afternoon, Portimonense again failed to come out of the starting blocks, spending the best part of the opening 45 minutes on the back foot before three half-time substitutions made for a more balanced second playing period, albeit without reward.
Now first choice goalie, Samuel Portugal found himself in the thick of the action from the word go, keeping out Thiago Santana with his feet before producing a good save from Carlos Junior. But, with his side generating very little in terms of forward momentum, the relentless pressure from the Azoreans finally paid off when man-of-the-match Lincoln swung in a 37th-minute corner which Nene headed against the post, allowing Fábio Cardoso to bundle home the rebound.
The introduction of Vaz Tê, debutant Fahd Moufi and Aylton Boa Morte for the injured Pedro Sá, Koki Anzai and Welinton respectively, then immediately changed the complexion of the game at the re-start. Anderson struck the right post only two minutes in, while Aylton’s follow-up could easily have levelled the scores but for the intervention of the upright at the other side of the goalmouth.
Vaz Tê was then dispossessed as he was preparing to head in and Fabrício narrowly failed to connect with a Moufi cross moments later. Just as Portimonense were looking to build up a head of steam, however, a mistake from Willyan following a throw-in allowed Santana to put Santa Clara further ahead on the hour mark.
To manager Paulo Sérgio’s team’s credit, they did not falter, Aylton steering home a 66th-minute header from a Lucas Fernandes free kick to reduce the deficit.
Samuel kept Algarvean hopes alive with another save from Carlos before Vaz Tê just failed to get his shot away in front of goal at the other end for what could have been the equaliser.
With still no home win to their credit, and having joined Farense at the foot of the table on four points, two more than their neighbours, Portimonense will not find the going any easier as they travel to Porto this Sunday.
Meanwhile, both Jadson and Lucas Possignolo’s proposed moves to Saudi Arabia and France have once again fallen through, and the pair should rejoin the push to get out of the relegation zone at least until the next transfer window opens in January.
By SKIP BANDELE