Portimonense receive lesson in finishing

A combination of bad luck and ineptitude on the part of Portimonense led to Vizela emerging the 2-1 winners from an emotional roller-coaster of a match last Sunday afternoon, the first time manager Vítor Oliveira’s men have lost twice on the bounce this season.

The encounter began well for the visitors from the Algarve as a lively start culminated in Fabrício rising well at the near post to head home a 16th-minute Zambujo cross for the early lead. Unfortunately, Portimonense’s Ivo Nicolau saw it necessary to bring down Vizela forward Felipe Augusto almost immediately after the re-start, prompting referee Manuel Oliveira to point to the penalty spot while producing a straight red card for the defender.

However, the home side failed to capitalise on the opportunity as Elizio placed his shot wide, and instead it was ten-man Portimonense who almost doubled their advantage as a Fabrício free kick following good work from Paulinho smacked against the Vizela crossbar. Thereafter, the corner-count underlined the home side’s efforts to level the match, but on the few occasions of any real danger keeper Ricardo Ferreira proved more than capable of dealing with the threat.

After the interval, Vizela continued to press forward without any visible results and it should have been Portimonense who put all three points to bed prior to the game-changing closing 10 minutes.

First, a 69th-minute Ewerton-led counter attack left Paulinho with the easiest of chances, but on this occasion the usually outstanding Brazilian failed to control the ball. Then, the Zambujo-Fabrício combination only just failed to produce a carbon copy of the opening goal with the latter narrowly heading wide, before that man Paulinho was again left with a simple tap-in following a great Fabrício solo, but allowed a defender to intercede as he took far too long to compose himself.

As indicated, Portimonense were made to pay dearly for those missed opportunities. An 81st-minute defensive mix-up saw Augusto pull Vizela level before turning match-winner with his second strike within five minutes after the referee allowed play to continue during Portimonense appeals for a foul on Fabrício. Game over.

Meanwhile, closest pursuers Aves overcame Santa Clara 1-0 and are now only six points behind the Algarveans with Varzim 15 points adrift in third. Next, Vitor Oliveira’s men will welcome mid-table Gil Vicente on Sunday morning ahead of a trip to Braga B next weekend, serving as a build-up to the potentially title-deciding home encounter with Aves currently scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, April 19.

Força Portimonense!


Photo: On this occasion, the usually outstanding Paulinho failed to control the ball