Portimonense coach Paulo Sérgio Photo: LUIS FORRA/LUSA

Portimonense: Samba time

PORTIMONENSE 0-2 MONACO

PORTIMONENSE 1-1 BIRMINGHAM

Portimonense showed plenty of promise during their opening pre-season friendly with top French side Monaco in Lagos last Saturday evening despite losing 2-0.

The Algarveans, featuring a host of new signings, failed to convert several scoring opportunities before €40 million France international Ben Yedder put the visitors ahead on the stroke of half time.

Manager Paulo Sérgio then fielded a completely changed XI for the second 45 minutes, conceding the second goal to Fofana as late as the 89th minute when pressing for an equaliser.

Tuesday’s second match against Birmingham City in Ferreiras saw Ewerton chip keeper Etheridge following a neat interchange of passes with Fabrício for an early lead before a Scott Hogan header levelled the score just past the half-hour mark.

Sérgio again made wholesale changes at the interval and Portimonense went on to dominate without finding the back of the net.

This Thursday Porto should have provided a much sterner test (played at 10.30am in Portimão) as will José Mourinho’s Roma on Saturday in Albufeira – 7pm kick-off.

The side is still very much a ‘work in progress’ with three more Brazilians, left back Pastor, sweeper João Pedro and midfielder Gustavo Klismahn, all 22-year-olds, as well as experienced 27-year-old Honduran striker Bryan Rochez, who scored 15 goals for Nacional de Madeira last season, the most recent players to join the club – and there will be more new arrivals.

Looking ahead, Portimonense will kick off the 2022/23 campaign at home against Boavista in early August with Porto the first of the ‘big three’ due to visit the Algarve in October.

By SKIP BANDELE