Portimonense: smash and grab!


Last Wednesday evening Portimonense ended a six-month barren spell against Gil Vicente, claiming maximum points for the first time since November of last year, thanks to a 49th-minute Lucas Fernandes’ wonder-strike.

The opening encounter of the post-Covid-19 confinement revised fixture list saw both sides return to ‘work’ with an understandable degree of rustiness, keepers Gonda and Denis, however, proving alert enough to snuff out a handful of half-chances before the break.

The eerie atmosphere in the empty Municipal Stadium would have been shattered in the presence of any fans shortly after the restart when 22-year-old Brazilian midfielder Fernandes unleashed a venomous shot from well outside the area, which crashed into the back of the Gil Vicente net via the inside of the upright closest to the crossbar.

Social distancing advice was momentarily forgotten as Portimonense players joined in wild celebrations worthy of a goal good enough to win a match at any level – and so it turned out.

Former Algarvean manager and promotion season hero Vítor Oliveira’s visitors managed to summon up very little in terms of response over the remaining 40 minutes, and it was new coach Paulo Sérgio’s men who increasingly gained their composure, coming close on three occasions to doubling their lead.

The first victory under Sérgio lost some of its shine four days later when closest relegation ‘rivals’ Paços de Ferreira managed an improbable 3-2 away success at high-flying Rio Ave, restoring their six-point advantage.

Paços will face another difficult task when travelling to Sporting Lisbon this Friday, but things will not have been any easier for Portimonense, who hosted Benfica in another mid-week clash on Wednesday evening (played after the Resident went to press).