LIGA BWIN: SANTA CLARA 1-0 PORTIMONENSE
Portimonense travelled to the Azores last Saturday and produced very little if anything against a Santa Clara side which already saw their relegation alongside Paços de Ferreira confirmed when Marítimo ran out the 1-0 winners over Vizela the previous evening.
“We had 60% possession but didn’t get off one shot,” manager Paulo Sérgio, still on the bench for this match after being handed a 30-day suspension for threatening behaviour towards a fan a few weeks ago, commented afterwards. “Only square balls and back passes, probably our worst game of the season.”
During an uneventful opening 45 minutes, the hosts took the lead through an Andrezinho far post header just before the half-hour mark. Following the restart, keeper Nakamura prevented Jordão and Matheus Babi from doubling Santa Clara’s advantage as Gabriel Silva also missed an open goal. Portimonense will complete their 2022/23 league programme back at the Municipal Stadium against Arouca on Sunday.
At the top of the table, Sporting drew 2-2 with champions-in-waiting Benfica, thus forcing the title race to go to the wire, although the Eagles in red only need to win or draw at home with above mentioned bottom club Santa Clara to be crowned irrespective of what nearest challengers Porto achieve against Vitória de Guimarães thanks to their two-point lead and superior goal difference (+11).
Good news for the Algarve this weekend concerns Farense. The club from the region’s capital will re-join Portimonense in the top tier next season following a two-year absence after a 96th-minute Rui Costa goal ensured victory away over Benfica B whilst promotion rivals Estrela da Amadora, who now face Marítimo in the play-off showdown, lost 1-0 at home to Nacional da Madeira.
By SKIP BANDELE