Liga Portugal Bwin: Marítimo 0-1 Portimonense
Portimonense rounded off a roller-coaster season with an easy win over Marítimo in Funchal which saw them finish in joint ninth place on 38 points alongside last Saturday’s opponents, Boavista and Paços de Ferreira.
A rare outing for third-choice goalie Kosuke saw the Japanese international first called into action just before the half-hour mark when keeping out playmaker Rafik.
At the other end, his opposite number, Miguel Silva, did equally well to punch away a Lazaar free kick before Nakajima rattled the Marítimo crossbar. Following the break, Nakajima again went close as countryman Kosuke excelled in a one-on-one with Joel Tagueu. The match was then decided by a neat interchange of passes between Welinton Júnior and Ewerton in the area, resulting in the latter slotting home the 80th-minute winner.
Elsewhere, Belenenses and Tondela only managed draws to see their relegation from the top tier confirmed while a 4-1 success for Moreirense over Vizela saw them go into the play-off with Chaves, who finished third in the second division. Above them, Rio Ave were crowned champions and will be joined in next season’s Liga Bwin by runners-up Casa Pia, back in the big time after an 83-year absence.
Meanwhile, in Portimão, manager Paulo Sérgio, who is expected to stay in the Algarve, will have the next three months to put together a team able to compete at the top level once again.
Quality replacements for early and mid-season departures such as those of Dener, Beto, Fali Cande, Aylton Boa Morte, Lucas Fernandes, Lucas Possignolo and Ricardo Ferreira are imperative as doubts over the immediate futures of on-loan players Nakajima (Porto), Angulo (Palmeiras) and Dacosta (Coventry) will have an additional impact.
Furthermore, top keeper Samuel as well as the experienced defender Ewerton are by no means guaranteed to stay amongst interest from other clubs. None of the players set to return from loan spells away, Henrique, Reko, Leo, Vilela, Dini, Rômulo or Júlio César, possess the necessary qualities to compensate for those actual and potential losses.
By SKIP BANDELE