Olhanense racked up their fourth consecutive victory, in Division D of the Campeonato Portugal, when they beat Moura AC (Beja) last weekend.
It is no coincidence that the resurgence of the Olhão team has come about as new Italian investors have taken control of the historic club.
New signings, the renovation of the José Arcanjo Stadium pitch and a more positive playing attitude has attracted greater numbers through the turnstiles.
Olhanense gave a debut to former Parma (Italy) keeper Alioune Fall against Moura AC; the Senegal-born 21-year-old had been training with the team for a couple of months but has only just received his league registration.
The game against Moura at the Olhão Municipal Stadium was virtually over by half-time with goals from Hassan (23′), Gabriel (27′) and Caleb (45′). Good build play preceded the first and third goals whilst Gabriel Silva’s goal was a superb individual effort from outside the penalty area.
Fifteen minutes after the break, Moura pulled a goal back to make it 3-1.
This win moves Olhanense up to fifth place, some six points off a play-off place with half the season completed.
Second place Casa Pia, the last team to beat Olhanense, have been docked six points for irregularities but have appealed the punishment.
On Sunday, Olhanense entertain Pinhalnovense at the Olhão Municipal Stadium (approximately one kilometre north of the EN125 on the N2-60) with kick-off at 3pm. Pinhalnovense will be without their star striker Diego Zaporo, eight goals from 15 outings, who was sent-off in the final minute of their 1-0 defeat at SC Ideal.
The Olhanense promotion push has received a further boost with the signing of experienced full-back Filipe Brigues (ex-Desportivo de Chaves). According to news emanating from Italy, Olhanense are also interested in signing prolific striker Samon Rodriguez. The 30-year-old Cuban has found the back of the net on 16 occasions in 18 games this season for Seravezza Poggi in Italy Serie D.
By CHRIS WRIGHT
Photos: LARRY BAWDEN