Liga Portugal Bwin: Portimonense 1-0 Moreirense
Following the previous weekend’s 7-0 drubbing in Porto, Portimonense finally secured the three points needed to guarantee next season’s continued top division status against Moreirense at their own Municipal Stadium last Saturday afternoon with three games to spare.
Away keeper Pasinato did well to divert a powerful Filipe Relvas header against the crossbar early on but proved helpless in preventing Welinton Junior’s 14th-minute well-executed lob from nestling in the back of his net following a Rosic mistake at the heart of the Moreirense defence.
An uneventful hour’s play later, Pasinato excelled to keep out Carlinhos and another Welinton effort, while his opposite number Samuel matched his efforts with an exceptional save from Jefferson. Already into injury time, Angulo should have made it 2-0, but pulled his shot wide from close range.
Portimonense can now go into their remaining matches against Arouca (a), Sporting Lisbon (h) and Marítimo (a) without the pressures of looming relegation experienced during the last few season-ending encounters, largely due to a very good set of results achieved during the first half of the current playing period.
Retrospectively, manager Paulo Sérgio has done very well overall given the loss of over half of his first-choice players at some stage or other, starting with that of Beto to Udinese during the summer.
The 2020/21 top scorer was followed out of the door by Dener (Saudi Arabia), Fali Cande (Metz), Aylton Boa Morte (UAE) and most recently Lucas Fernandes (Botafogo) and Lucas Possignolo (China). It can only be hoped that the Algarveans spend the €20 million-plus raised with those transfers wisely in rebuilding a team capable of competing next season.
By SKIP BANDELE