Portimonense: The missing link
Portimonense player Luquinha (right) fights for the ball with FC Porto player Mbemba during a match last Friday in Portimão Photo: EPA/LUIS FORRA

Portimonense: The missing link

Liga Portugal Bwin: Portimonense 0-3 Porto

Portimonense badly missed their most influential player during their previous two matches as Shoya Nakajima was forced to sit out last Friday night’s home defeat to Porto due to the current loan arrangement with that club.

Fortunately, the fleet-footed Japanese winger, who has rediscovered his old form since finding his way back to the Algarve in summer, looks set to stay at his old ‘new’ home beyond January as Porto manager Sergio Conceição has precluded an early return north unless a club from abroad comes in for the player.

Portimonense began their latest match well, Fabrício finding himself with only Diogo Costa to beat as early as the sixth minute before shooting straight at the keeper. But the visitors soon gained the upper hand with Luis Diaz troubling Samuel in the Portimonense goal on several occasions prior to seeing his injury time free kick deflected past the stranded keeper by Pedro Sa for the half-time lead.

After the restart, Fali Cande went close to levelling the scores ahead of Porto closing out the encounter with two strikes in quick succession, Otavio setting up Vitinha for an easy finish shortly before taking a hand himself by lobbing Samuel for the third.

Despite the loss, Portimonense retain sixth place in the table, one point behind Estoril, and next travel to second from bottom Moreirense this Sunday afternoon.

Elsewhere, last season’s top Portimonense marksman and last-minute transfer out, Beto, is adapting well to life in Italy, the 23-year-old, still playing at district level two years ago, grabbing a brace for Udinense in a recent 4-4 draw with Lazio, thereby taking his personal tally in to six.