Portimonense: Shot down


Last Saturday night, Portimonense’s woeful finishing, combined with a rare Kosuke Nakamura goalkeeping error, consigned manager Paulo Sérgio’s men to a third defeat on the road in as many weeks.

Once again, Sérgio opted to start with only one of his 11 January transfer window signings, Lucas Alves, leaving the likes of Maurício, Yony and Lucas Ventura on the bench until (too) late into the second half.

A quiet opening 20 minutes were followed by what turned out to be the decisive moment of the match, a long clearance from veteran Guimarães keeper Bruno Varela evading both the Portimonense defence and the onrushing Nakamura for Jota to slot home into an empty net with ease. Jota could have doubled the home side’s lead shortly afterwards, but this time his successful chip over Nakamura was cleared off the line by Pedrão.

Portimonense managed to create a little more momentum following the break, but efforts from Paulo Estrela, Welinton Júnior and Pedrão all failed to trouble Varela, leaving the Algarveans to return home pointless.

Next up on Saturday afternoon, back on home soil at the Municipal Stadium, is another so-called six-pointer with relegation-threatened Marítimo providing the opposition.

The club from Madeira currently occupy the penultimate place in the league table, four points clear of bottom side Paços de Ferreira and two behind Santa Clara, with Portimonense enjoying an eight-point cushion over that trio still fighting to stay in the top flight.