Liga Bwin: Portimonense 0-1 Paços de Ferreira
The self-imposed absence of want-away star striker Beto (see below) almost certainly cost Portimonense three points against leg-weary Paços de Ferreira, only just returned from a 3-0 UEFA Conference League drubbing at Tottenham Hotspur, last Sunday evening.
The Algarveans, still without a home win this season, dominated throughout the encounter, only to fall behind to a first-half injury time Douglas Tanque strike following a rare defensive mix-up.
A total of 15 shots – as opposed to one from the visitors – during the second playing period, including an off-side goal late on, failed to register as keeper André Ferreira dealt with good efforts from the likes of Luquinha, Angulo, Aponza, Imbula and Renato Júnior.
Manager Paulo Sérgio now has the international break – the next league match is scheduled for September 12 at Boavista – to reshape his starting eleven incorporating players signed by Tuesday midnight’s closure of the summer transfer window.
These include the sensational return of one-time ‘local’ hero Shoya Nakajima, back on loan following two unsuccessful seasons with Porto, as well as long-serving midfield general Ewerton who has rescinded his contract with the multiple Portuguese champions.
The two stalwarts have been joined in Portimão by experienced Moroccan international winger Achraf Lazaar, who spent pre-season with English Championship side Reading, exciting young Japanese forward Kawasaki from Gamba Osaka, and promising 21-year-old Nigerian attacker Abraham Marcus, most recently in the service of second division Feirense.
Unfortunately, this positive news has been blighted by the departure of last season’s top scorer, Beto. The 23-year-old with 13 goals from 33 first team games to his name, handed in a transfer request after the club had turned down several unsatisfactory offers, and refused to turn out against Paços de Ferreira. Italian Serie A side Udinese stepped in at the last minute with what is reported to be a one-year loan arrangement and subsequent compulsory €10 million purchase for 50% of the player’s future value.
By SKIP BANDELE