Portimonense: The late, late show


Portimonense ended a five-match losing run without scoring by means of a late comeback at home against Rio Ave last Saturday evening.

Keeper Kosuke Nakamura was called into early action when stopping a ninth-minute Costinha piledriver but was then unable to prevent a close-range Patrick William header from a Fábio Ronaldo cross nestling in the back of the net.

Portimonense thought they had equalised on the half-hour mark, but Yony’s effort was adjudged to have been offside, a decision confirmed by VAR. Manager Paulo Sérgio made some tactical changes during the interval resulting in some more attacking play from the hosts, Welinton Júnior immediately testing Jhonatan in the visitors’ goal on two occasions before failing to get away his shot and missing another golden opportunity. Instead Rio Ave doubled their advantage against the run of play, William turning provider this time for Costinha to head home.

Photo by: Pedro Pratas

With only ten minutes of normal time remaining, South Korean international Park Ji-soo played a great through ball to Welinton, the unmarked Brazilian finishing with aplomb to halve the deficit. Portimonense should have been level only moments later, but Bryan Rochez skied his follow-up at an open goal after Jhonatan had blocked Yago Cariello’s initial strike. Finally, deep into injury time, Welinton capped his man-of-the-match performance by crashing his first-time shot past Jhonatan to secure the 2-2 score line and a valuable point.

This Saturday’s away opponents, Estoril, were beaten 4-1 at Braga and remain two points behind the Algarveans in 15th place whilst bottom three Marítimo, Paços de Ferreira and Santa Clara, losers all last weekend, are now 8, 10 and 12 points adrift respectively.

Off the pitch Portimonense have confirmed their first signing for next season in the shape of 21-year-old Fulham winger Sylvester Jasper. The dual British and Bulgarian passport holder and U-15, U-16 and U-21 international has most recently enjoyed loan spells with Colchester, Hibernian and Bristol Rovers.

Elsewhere, Farense rekindled their promotion hopes with a 3-1 win over runaway second division leaders Moreirense and are now only two points behind second-placed Estrela Amadora.

By Skip Bandele