Portimonense: Pie in the sky


Last Sunday night, Portimonense came close to a ‘smash-and-grab’ ambush in Porto only to return empty-handed after Alex Telles punished the visitors at the death for two first-half Jackson Martinez misses.

Manager Paulo Sérgio’s strategy of playing five across the back worked well, frustrating Porto’s efforts to keep up with title rivals Benfica for the best part of the encounter. With Japanese international keeper Gonda, who has displaced former first-choice Ricardo Ferreira in goal, proving a safe pair of hands, Portimonense were able to absorb the early pressure and wait for opportunities on the counter attack.

Those chances finally fell in quick succession to Jackson just before the interval, the Colombian ex-Porto top marksman placing a free header wide from a position at the heart of the opposition area before winning a penalty for a trip by Uribe. Unfortunately, that invitation to score also went begging, the veteran striker scooping his effort high into the night sky.

Porto continued their mostly fruitless pursuit of a winner during the second half, building up an impressive 24-6 shots on goal ratio, but just when it appeared that Portimonense would escape with at least a point, Telles smashed the ball home from the edge of the area to finally break Algarvean resistance.

That loss, combined with a Paços de Ferreira win, has now widened the gap to safety to four points, and a win against Setúbal this Friday is a must.