LIGA NOS: BOAVISTA 0-2 PORTIMONENSE
Portimonense travelled north on Sunday shorn of creative players Shoya Nakajima (injured), Ewerton (Urawa Reds), Paulinho (ban) and Manafá (Porto, see below), but still managed to come away with a convincing victory over Boavista.
Following early pressure from the hosts, which saw Rafa go close before forcing Ricardo Ferreira into a great fingertip save, Dener dispossessed the Boavista defence and set up Wellington for a sublime chip over prostrate home keeper Helton for the 1-0 in the 20th minute.
Tabata and Dener could have doubled the score before the interval in the face of their increasingly disorganised opposition, but manager António Folha’s men had to wait until the 78th minute when unlikely hero Wellington struck again running on to a Lucas Fernandes through ball. João Carlos’ lob at the death could have provided the icing on the cake, but his goal-bound effort only shaved the Boavista post with Helton stranded.
The latest success sees Portimonense occupying eighth place in the table on 27 points ahead of coming Tuesday’s visit from bottom side Chaves.
Off the pitch, the January transfer window is beginning to heat up and some impressive performances from Wilson Manafá during the first half of the season have persuaded champions Porto to move for the 24-year-old left winger as a direct replacement for Alex Telles who is expected to leave in summer.
It has not been revealed how much of Manafá’s €10 million release clause has been met, but Portimonense will be using some of the money to bring in reinforcements such as former player Lumor, also wanted by French side Amiens, who has failed to break into the first team at Sporting Lisbon.
Meanwhile, playmaker Nakajima is expected to return from injury in the near future after reportedly turning down a lucrative offer from Qatar’s Al-Duhail and may stay on unless the likes of Wolverhampton, Leicester or Southampton make a firm bid. U-23 team coach Luís Boa Morte, however, has left the club to take up a post with Maccabi Haifa in Israel.
Photo: Former player Lumor is likely to return to Portimonense
By SKIP BANDELE