New coach Carlos Azenha made a winning start on his return to Portimão by guiding the Algarveans to a valuable albeit less-than-spectacular 1-0 win over promotion rivals União da Madeira.
Azenha, a long-standing personal friend of club president Fernando Rocha dating back to his time as assistant manager at FC Porto, had previously left Portimonense under a cloud four years ago, but is confident of a more successful stay this time around.
His task has been made somewhat more difficult, however, by the departure of top scorer and playmaker Mu Kanazaki who has joined Japanese side Kashima Antlers on a one-year loan deal.
Last Saturday’s match produced few real chances at either end but when Guilherme Lazaroni played Fernandinho through on the left wing on the hour mark the Brazilian delivered a pinpoint cross for Zambujo to head home for the only goal of the afternoon.
Although the visitors enjoyed the lion’s share of possession thereafter, it was Dieguinho who came closest to adding a second when kept out by a great save from União keeper Ricardo Campos 15 minutes from the end.
The victory saw Portimonense travel to 11th-placed Feirense a mere four points off a promotion place on Wednesday (played after the Resident went to press) and will be looking forward to welcoming Sporting B to their municipal stadium this Sunday.
By SKIP BANDELE