Portimonense mauled in Lions’ den


Around 44,000 spectators saw joint league leaders Sporting Lisbon canter to an easy 2-0 victory over newly-promoted Portimonense at their Alvalade Stadium last Sunday evening.

“We showed very little during the opening 45 minutes and Sporting were able to play at will,” Vítor Oliveira said afterwards. “When we tried to correct matters in the second half, we were stopped by the sending off.”

The Portimonense coach was referring to the 55th-minute dismissal of Ghanaian defender Hackman for a second bookable offence, having been cautioned for the over-enthusiastic use of his elbow earlier.

At that point, the score still stood at a very flattering 1-0, Sporting having failed to add to a ninth-minute Bruno Fernandes opener during an utterly dominant first half for the hosts which only allowed one real chance for the Algarveans, Nakajima shooting wide after having been put through by Lumor.

However, it only took another five minutes after Portimonense had been reduced to 10 men for top scorer Bas Dost to combine well with Gelson before tapping in from close range for Sporting’s second. Thereafter, Oliveira’s men did well in keeping the score line respectable by not conceding further goals.

Two League Cup games away to Benfica this Wednesday (played after the Resident went to press) and Sporting Braga on December 29 apart, Portimonense now have until January 4 to regroup and end their current bad patch with a more positive performance against the first visitors to the municipal stadium of the New Year, Belenenses.

Nonetheless, the only club in Portugal’s top division from the extreme south of the country has done reasonably well in 2017, collecting 16 points from 15 games to occupy 11th place in the table.