A midweek away draw against Académica followed by a home win over Sporting Covilhã extended Portimonense’s unbeaten start to the league season to five games.
During last Wednesday’s match in Coimbra, the home side contributed significantly to a goalless stalemate with an ultra-defensive display which produced very few, if any, real chances at either end.
Back on home soil, the Algarveans rediscovered their scoring touch in the face of some stiff opposition from bottom club Covilhã.
An evenly balanced first half saw keeper Ricardo Ferreira forced into a good save before Paulinho went close on two occasions ahead of the interval.
The deadlock was finally broken following a double substitution on the hour mark – Gustavo and Buba replaced Paulinho and Manafa – when Captain Ricardo Pessoa converted a 69th-minute free kick to give manager Vitor Oliveira’s men the lead.
The advantage was doubled only 60 seconds later as Pires latched on to a Buba through ball to make it 2-0 on the afternoon. The two players involved in that move were then guilty of a glaring miss each giving rise to a nervous final 10 minutes after Ponde had pulled a goal back for the visitors.
Pires further added to the jitters when his 90th-minute penalty was saved by Covilhã’s João Costa but all three points remained in the bag as the final whistle echoed around the ground.
Portimonense, a point clear of closest pursuers Santa Clara who have a game in hand, return to action against Vitória de Guimarães following the international break on September 11.
Further afield, Fabricio, who recently joined fellow Portimonense player Mu Kanazaki on loan at top Japanese club Kashima Antlers, scored on his debut during a 2-2 draw with Yokohama Marinos.
By SKIP BANDELE