Portimonense players celebrating their goal against Tondela during last Sunday’s match at Portimonense stadium LUIS FORRA/LUSA

Portimonense: yellow ‘fever’, red mist

Liga Portugal Bwin: Portimonense 1-2 Tondela

A skeleton eleven, severely decimated by a Covid-19 outbreak confining the likes of both first-choice keepers Samuel Portugal and Ricardo Ferreira as well as Carlinhos, Pedro Sá, Imbula and Lucas Possignolo to quarters – in addition to the absence of Payam (international duty), Pedrão and Lucas Fernandes (sitting out bans) – nonetheless managed to control the latest home match against Tondela last Sunday afternoon for the best part of an hour until largely incompetent referee João Gonçalves added a straight red card to his ‘impressive’ tally of nine yellows.

Following some early exchanges, Ewerton was the first to seriously threaten the visitors’ goal before Aponza went close in the 23rd minute. Nakajima then had the ball in the back of the net only to be called offside as Anderson just failed to see his effort thwarted, but there was no stopping Angulo’s finishing after some impressive footwork in the area with 34 minutes on the clock.

A great Kosuke save from Salvador Agra on the stroke of half time apart, Portimonense continued to dominate until a rash Felipe Relvas tackle left manager Paulo Sérgio’s men, with few options to reshuffle the pack, with a numerical disadvantage. Thus encouraged, Tondela proceeded to exert more pressure and were rewarded in the 80th minute when Undabarrena’s hopeful strike from distance was deflected past Kosuke by Moufi for the equaliser.

A free Boselli header followed and the Algarveans’ fate was sealed although Fabrício almost restored parity at the death only to see his last gasp effort scrambled off the line.

The latest defeat leaves Portimonense, who travel to Paços de Ferreira on Saturday evening, in eighth place, still well positioned in the top half of the league table.

The closure of the January transfer window earlier this week confirmed the principal departures of Fali Candé (France) and Aylton Boa Morte (UAE) as well as long-serving veteran keeper Ricardo Ferreira (Slovakia) but also brought in some new talent.

Two forwards, 25-year-old Nigerian Sapara and 21-year-old Portuguese Ricardo Matos, have joined on three-year deals from Leixões and Olhanense respectively, Franco-Senegalese 25-year-old right back Julien da Costa has agreed a six-month loan with option to buy from Coventry, and 28-year-old Brazilian winger Welinton Junior has re-joined Portimonense having ended his year-long loan arrangement with Japanese club Shonan Bellmare.

One player now not arriving is Brazilian defender Igor after it was discovered that he was already on the books of a maximum allowed three clubs this season.