LIGA BWIN: PORTIMONENSE 1–0 PAÇOS DE FERREIRA
The last-minute transfer deadline signing of 28-year-old Colombian forward Yony González from Benfica completed Portimonense’s record volume of January dealings which saw no less than 11 players join the Algarveans for the second half of the current season.
For Monday night’s crucial home match against bottom club Paços de Ferreira, however, only Lucas Alves made the starting line-up although fellow newcomers Yony, Lucas Ventura and Maurício came on as second-half substitutes with devastating consequences for the visitors.
With both sides desperate for three points, an incident-packed encounter burst into life as keeper Kosuke Nakamura excelled in keeping out Butzke before the Spanish forward smashed his follow-up against the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Bryan Róchez thought he had put Portimonense in front only to have his effort ruled off-side. Then it was Nico Gaitán’s turn to crash a shot against the Algarvean woodwork as Nakamura denied Luca to keep the visitors at bay as half time approached.
Another twist almost immediately after the interval had Maracás collect a second yellow card, reducing Paços de Ferreira to 10 men. Thereafter, it did not take long for Bryan Róchez to again have the ball in the back of the net from what once more turned out to be adjudged to have been an off-side position.
Welinton Júnior tried his best to break the deadlock, forcing Paços’ keeper Marafona into two great saves as Nakamura was kept on his toes by Nuno Lima at the other end.
Portimonense were laying siege to the opposition goal as eight minutes of injury time approached, but, as the match appeared to be heading for an unsatisfactory draw, Maurício struck from a Lucas Ventura cross with literally the last kick of the game to grab the spoils.
Manager Paulo Sérgio’s men, now 11th in the table and eight points clear of the relegation zone, next head north again to take on sixth-placed Vitória de Guimarães on Saturday night.
Elsewhere, neighbours Farense needed a 92nd-minute penalty to draw 2-2 with immediate promotion rivals Estrela Amadora and remain in second place in the Sabseg Liga Portugal 2. Following that game, very experienced 58-year-old coach José Mota took up the vacant managerial hot seat.
By SKIP BANDELE