Boosted by the return of top scorer Mu Kanazaki, Portimonense got off to a great start against Marítimo B with the Japanese winger finding the back of the net a mere three minutes into the game.
Fidelis should have at least doubled the advantage against generally apathetic opposition before the interval, and the Brazilian’s misses were to prove costly after the restart.
Despite being reduced to 10 men before the opening quarter of an hour of the second half was up, following a straight red for Ibrahim from referee Duarte Gomes, the Madeirans managed to level the game from the spot only 10 minutes later.
Mister Gomes then lent the Algarveans another helping hand by awarding a dubious penalty which Kanazaki duly converted to restore Portimonense’s lead.
There was no happy ending for the home side, however, as Marítimo’s Kukula took advantage of keeper Ricardo Ferreira’s error to produce an unsatisfactory 2-2 draw at the death.
The result saw manager Vitor Maçãs’ men slip to sixth place, seven points behind leaders Tondela and four off the second promotion place.
This Saturday’s away trip to Oriental may see the introduction of several new faces following the successful January transfer window acquisition of Brazilian quintet Guilherme Lazaroni, Dener, Jonathan, Dieguinho and Gleison.
By SKIP BANDELE