Liga Bwin: Benfica 0-1 Portimonense
Portimonense grabbed the most unlikely looking three points of the season to date by celebrating their first win ever following 26 failed previous attempts at the Estádio da Luz on Sunday evening and, at the same time, ending Benfica’s perfect start to the current campaign which included a midweek 3-0 Champions League success over Barcelona.
In front of almost 40,000 fans, man-of-the-match Samuel Portugal defied Benfica’s 24 shots on goal, the 27-year-old Brazilian keeper producing some world-class first-half saves from the likes of Roman Yaremchuk (’22), Grimaldo (’37 and ’45) and Rafa (’41). Up to this point, Portimonense’s only response had been a stinging Aylton Boa Morte shot from distance which Odysseas did well to keep out.
Yaremchuk had the ball in the back of the net shortly after the interval only for VAR to adjudge the Ukrainian international’s effort to have been 31 centimetres off-side, silencing the crowd for the time being.
The big moment from the Algarveans’ point of view finally arrived in the 66th minute when hero of the hour Lucas Possignolo rose majestically at the near post to meet a Lucas Fernandes’ corner and place his glancing header beyond the reach of Odysseas – 0-1.
There was still time during the frantic closing stages for Fali Cande to clear an Otamendi shot off the line and, already deep into injury time, for the same Argentine centre-back to see his final effort cannon off Samuel’s post – game over!
The win sees Portimonense rise above Braga into fifth place, one behind Estoril, who will provide the opposition at the Municipal Stadium on October 24 following the international break.
Before that date, manager Paulo Sérgio’s men will travel to now third division Oliveirense third round FA Cup tie on the weekend of October 17 and 18. Of the other Algarve clubs still left in the competition, Farense and Olhanense also play away at third division sides Cinfães and Castro Daire respectively, while Louletano welcome second division Estrela da Amadora.
By SKIP BANDELE