Gil Vicente’s Carvalho (right) fights for the ball with Portimonense player Lucas at last Sunday’s match in Cidade de Barcelos Stadium Photo: Photo: JOSÉ COELHO/LUSA

Portimonense: Man down

Liga Portugal Bwin: Gil Vicente 1-0 Portimonense

What already promised to be a difficult away match against high-flying Gil Vicente last Sunday evening became almost impossible to win when Lucas Fernandes was dismissed after collecting his second yellow card only 25 minutes into the ‘up-to-then-closely-contested’ encounter.

Aponza had briefly threatened from Carlinhos and Moufi crosses during the opening half hour but, following the sending off, the game was quickly reduced to one-way traffic thereafter, with the hosts enjoying 72% of possession whilst amassing 18 shots on goal and 12 corners to Portimonense’s paltry three and two, respectively.

Once more, keeper Samuel Portugal, top-rated in the league, proved the corner stone of the visitors’ resistance which kept Gil Vicente at bay until the 75th minute when a powerful Pedrinho drive from the edge of the area finally broke the deadlock.

Now without a win in their last five league matches, Portimonense have dropped to eighth place on 25 points ahead of this Sunday’s home game with 12th-placed Tondela.

To make matters worse, the Algarveans appear to have lost two of their most influential players in recent times with Aylton Boa Morte moving to United Arab Emirates side Khor Fakkan, who trumped a previous offer from Al Ittihad, and Fali Candé close to finalising a €3.5 million transfer to French third-from-bottom top division club Metz. Possible replacements on the way in are forwards João Veras and Leo Souza as well as right back Igor. The January transfer window closes next Tuesday.