With the start of the new season fast approaching, Portimonense manager Vítor Oliveira has been busy fine-tuning his squad both on and off the pitch.
Last week’s friendly with Sheffield Wednesday, played in Albufeira, saw the Algarveans fall behind to a 25th-minute long-range effort from Adam Reach.
Following wholesale changes during the interval Portimonense emerged much stronger but the result remained unchanged as Tabata and Manafá in particular failed to convert gilt-edged chances.
Unfortunately a promising performance was marred by a serious injury to Pires who will be sidelined for at least a month.
On Saturday, a double-header had a reserve eleven take on Louletano in Vale do Lobo in the morning with Ewerton cancelling out a 22nd-minute Polo strike before Rafa produced the 2-1 final score in the district league side’s favour.
In the evening the Dois Irmãos training ground welcomed Farense with ‘old boy’ Zambujo giving the visitors the lead. Paulinho then levelled for an almost full strength Portimonense side before being withdrawn, Gomes putting Farense back in front shortly afterwards.
With ten minutes remaining on the clock, Fabricio scored to make it 2-2 and Manafá turned into the match winner shortly before the final whistle when finding the back of the net to complete the 3-2 turn-around.
Next up is today’s (Thursday) exhibition match against Porto at Estádio do Algarve followed by Sunday’s League Cup tie with Chaves – venue still to be announced as building work at the municipal stadium has yet to be completed.
Looking ahead, the kick-off times for the opening August Liga NOS fixtures have been made public with Portimonense hosting Boavista at 5pm on Monday (August 7) followed by a 6pm start the following Sunday in Braga. On Friday, August 18 another away fixture at Rio Ave kicks off at 8.30pm before Vitor Oliveira’s men return home to face Marítimo at 8pm on Sunday, August 27.
Off the pitch Paulinho has signed a new contract until 2021, on-loan Porto left back Inácio impressed and will compete with Lumor for a starting place while Fabrício looks most likely to partner Rui Costa up front in the absence of the injured Pires and Stanley.
By SKIP BANDELE