LIGA NOS: MARÍTIMO 1-2 PORTIMONENSE
Portimonense celebrated their first victory of the new season on Madeira last Saturday afternoon thanks to outstanding performances from Brazilian pair club captain Dener and goalkeeper Samuel Portugal during a strong second-half performance.
The match against high-flying Marítimo managed by Lito Vidigal, in charge at Portimonense during the 2009 season, almost didn’t take place as new arrival Moufi tested positive for Covid-19, but an all-clear for the rest of the team from the health authorities and medical department allowed the trip to go ahead.
Once on the pitch, little of any consequence happened during the opening 45 minutes, bar a spectacular 18th-minute Samuel save, the 26-year-old new ‘number one’ denying Kibe from point blank range.
The second half began with another good defence from Samuel before VAR confirmed Fali Cande’s attempt to control the ball with his arm – Rodrigo Pinho duly slotted home the resulting penalty and the Algarveans suddenly faced an uphill battle. However, manager Paulo Sérgio’s troops rallied well, and Dener almost levelled the score five minutes later when his pile-driver from distance was only just tipped away by Amir in the Marítimo goal.
Shortly afterwards, it was Aylton Boa Morte’s turn, the midfielder rounding the Marítimo keeper but failing to find the back of the net from a tight angle.
With 20 minutes remaining on the clock, two things changed the eventual outcome: Sérgio introduced Anderson for Welinton Junior and Dener beat Amir with a header from a Willyan corner to make it 1-1.
Now increasingly confident, Portimonense went in search of the winner which materialised after Boa Morte turned a great Lucas Fernandes pass back into the area from the by-line for Anderson to finish with aplomb.
As the game headed towards its conclusion, there was still time for Samuel to hold on to the win with a further brace of top-class saves from Irmer and Correa in the 76th and 85th minutes, respectively.
The three points in the bank helped Portimonense climb to 14th place in the table, only one point behind a group of clubs headed by Gil Vicente in eighth, and further improvement can be hoped for Friday (October 23) when 16th-placed Tondela, with two draws and two defeats to their name to date, provide the away opposition.
By SKIP BANDELE