Atlético’s Tapadinha stadium situated in less glamorous Lisbon suburbia has never been a happy hunting ground for Portimonense and last Sunday afternoon’s encounter appeared to maintain that tradition until opposition keeper Igors Labuts decided to lend a hand.
The hosts enjoyed the better start to the match and were soon ahead after Ricardo Ferreira in the Portimonense goal failed to deal effectively with a free kick from former colleague Quinaz, allowing Brazilian forward Jaja to head home.
However, only eight minutes later a hopeful Fernandinho punt from fully 30 metres out somehow evaded both the Atlético defence and the hapless Igors to restore parity.
The Lithuanian then redeemed himself somewhat with good saves from Fernandinho again, Fabricio and, after the interval, Rafinha, before Ferreira did well to keep out a dangerous header from accident-prone own defender, Ivo Nicolau, at the other end.
Thereafter Atlético went all out in search of the winner with coach Rui Nascimento bringing on three more forwards, but were punished when Fidelis successfully concluded a rare counter attack following another Igors’ error to hand Portimonense an unlikely 2-1 victory. The unfortunate Nascimento subsequently parted company with the club he took charge of at the beginning of the season.
The result leaves the Algarveans in joint fifth place, only two points away from one of the promotion places currently occupied by Tondela and Freamunde.
This Sunday afternoon’s home game against mid-table AC Viseu should see the return of top scorer Mou Kanasaki as well as the possible debut of returnee Jorge Pires, adding greatly to the fire-power of manager Vitor Maçãs’ high-flying team.
By SKIP BANDELE