Portimonense suffered their first loss in 10 matches when going down to a solitary Zé Pedro strike against Leixões in Matosinhos last Sunday.
An uneventful opening half was followed by a considerably more incident-packed 45 minutes during which the Algarveans could easily have emerged as the winners. However, early pressure after the interval failed to translate into goals, with Fidelis, Fabricio and Fernandinho all unable to overcome the excellent Chastre between the Leixões posts.
The 21-year-old keeper underlined his invincibility on the afternoon against the odds just after the hour mark, keeping out a Ricardo Pessoa penalty kick before again proving equal to the Portimonense captain’s attempted follow-up.
Pedro’s winner only minutes later took the wind out of the visitors’ sails and thereafter manager Vitor Maçãs’ men did well to keep the score down with a Tavares shot just failing to cross the goalline and keeper Ricardo Ferreira mirroring his opposite number in successfully defending a last-minute Mendes penalty.
The disappointment back home was somewhat tempered by the fact that Oliveirense was the only team to manage a victory amongst the clubs in the top half of the league table, thus separating first and fifth by a mere three points.
The Algarveans have every chance of closing that gap on their next away trip to Sporting Covilhã this weekend, especially if the sorely missed flu-stricken Mou Kanazaki makes a timely recovery and new signing Pires can do more than play a to date peripheral role.
By SKIP BANDELE