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Portimonense in safe hands!

Portimonense keeper Ricardo Ferreira produced a string of brilliant saves to secure all three points against Sporting Braga B last Sunday afternoon.

The experienced 26-year-old provided the backbone for the home team seriously depleted by injury and was called into action as early as the 12th minute when pushing a fierce Piquett shot away for a corner. Another good save from the same forward preceded more heroics just after the half-hour mark when Ferreira dived full stretch to hold on to an Ogana spot kick at the foot of his left post.

Manager Vitor Oliveira’s men, and outstanding summer signing Paulinho in particular, managed to exert more pressure after the interval, the 22-year-old Brazilian going close on two occasions before Amilton seriously tested Tiago Sá between the Braga sticks.

With 10 minutes to play, the two players then combined well with a neat interchange of passes culminating in a decisive Paulinho finish resulting in the only goal of the match. There was still time for Ferreira to shine once more as Didi saw his powerful effort parried but, as the minutes ticked away, the result stood for Portimonense’s 12th victory of the current season.

“It was a difficult game,” Oliveira said afterwards, “we improved after the break and deserved the win at the end.”

The Algarveans, now on 39 points, were missing regular starters Ewerton, Marcel, Gustavo, Dener, Lucas and Ricardo Pessoa as well as Pedro Sá, while French defender Arrondel is not expected to return after going AWOL without reasonable explanation.

Some of the absentees are expected back for Sunday’s big head-to-head with Aves (29 points, played game in hand against Covilhã yesterday, Wednesday) – 11.15am kick-off, live on SportTV – who are heading the chasing pack along with Cova da Piedade (28) and Santa Clara on 27 points.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that influential central defender Jadson has been the subject of a €3 million bid from Italy – turned down by the Portimão club who will not entertain bids below €10 million for the tall Brazilian who is under contract until 2018.