Portimonense stalemate


Ahead of last Saturday afternoon’s encounter between Gil Vicente and Portimonense, both managers Vítor Oliveira and António Folha described the match as a ‘must win’ in order to return to relative mid-table safety. Sadly, none of that ambition was subsequently evident on the pitch.

A meagre five and seven shots respectively, most of those during the opening 45 minutes, were dispatched in the direction of the opposition goals, ensuring that at least the two goalkeepers were kept awake until the interval.

For the hosts, Denis made a couple of good saves from Jackson Martinez before being caught off his line in the 40th minute, allowing an Aylton Boa Morte chip to put the Algarveans ahead.

At the other end, Ricardo Ferreira did well to keep out Sandro Lima just after the half-hour mark but was unable to stop the same player from converting a penalty on the stroke of half time after Possignolo had brought down Baraye.

With the scores level again, the second half developed into a virtual phoney war. There appeared to be very little, if any, desire to try and win the game, Folha withdrawing both Jackson and Aylton well before time, thus forgoing any realistic chance of breaching the stolid home defence.

Clearly there were three points here for the taking, yet neither side was prepared to claim them. If it was Folha’s intention to ‘save’ Jackson and Aylton for yesterday’s (Wednesday) match against Benfica in Lisbon (played after the Resident went to press), he is clearly misguided – coming away with anything from the high-flying ‘Eagles’ will surely have been less likely than making sure of three points in Barcelos.

As things stood before Wednesday evening, Portimonense are on six points, one ahead of Paços de Ferreira in penultimate place, and one point behind Gil Vicente, who travelled to this season’s surprise package, Famalicão, in mid-week.

Assuming that Folha’s men did not pull off a miracle in the Stadium of Light, next Monday evening’s home game against Santa Clara must represent a ‘make-or-break’ situation for the under pressure second season manager.