LIGA NOS: GIL VICENTE 1-0 PORTIMONENSE
Gil Vicente belied their enforced Covid-19 10-day quarantine lay-off to run Portimonense ragged for the best part of this match last Sunday afternoon.
Manager Paulo Sérgio’s men found themselves on the back foot from the word go, keeper Samuel producing a good save from Leautey before marshalling his defence to weather half a dozen corners by the half-hour mark.
And yet the Algarveans could have been ahead only five minutes later, VAR confirming the penalty award by referee António Nobre following a somewhat theatrical Fabrício tumble in the area. Unfortunately, Lucas Possignolo’s equally unconvincing spot kick was easily saved by Denis in the Gil Vicente goal and the home team’s aerial bombardment continued.
Having watched the starting 11 survive until the interval, Sérgio attempted to inject some life into his lacklustre side, replacing the ineffective Welinton Junior, Possignolo and Julio Cesar with Aylton Boa Morte, Koki Anzai and Anderson for the second half. But before those changes could make any impact, Lino had Gil Vicente ahead by virtue of a speculative strike across goal which crept in through Samuel’s legs.
Portimonense did improve somewhat thereafter, both Dener and Fabrício going close during a frantic final quarter of an hour, but at the end the result stood.
“We made a lot of schoolboy errors,” Sérgio commented afterwards, “and some of the players need to wake up and realise that the fight has already begun.”
Off the pitch, the already anticipated departure of Bruno Tabata was finally confirmed, Sporting Lisbon snatching the 23-year-old Brazilian from under the noses of other interested parties with a five-year contract, netting Portimonense €5 million for 50% of the player’s commercial rights – Jadson, to Turkey, and the Japan-bound Gonda, are expected to follow shortly. On the plus side, ex-Tondela 24-year-old Franco-Moroccan right back Fahd Moufi has signed on for four years.
Portimonense return to action at the Municipal Stadium on Sunday evening when Sporting Lisbon provide the opposition.
By SKIP BANDELE