UPDATE: The date of the SC OLHANENSE v. SC PORTIMONENSE game has been changed to Wednesday, December 21 at 8.15pm.
Six games undefeated have given Olhanense renewed optimism of climbing away from the foot of the Segunda Liga. Only Desportivo das Aves have a better record over the past six weeks. Away at fellow relegation contenders Freamunde it was a case of ‘backs to the wall’ as the home side dominated much of the game and took the lead after just 11 minutes.
A cross from Ivan Perez was firmly headed home by Luís Pedro who had ghosted into the area past a static Olhanense defence. The visitors nearly levelled matters 15 minutes later when Galassi saw his cross shot cannon off the bar.
Freamunde continued to have the majority of possession in the second-half but it was Olhanense who found the back of the net thanks to a Galassi penalty. Fifteen minutes from time, Diogo Ramos mistimed his tackle and referee Carlos Xistra had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
The 1-1 draw leaves Olhanense on 13 points just a point below Leixões and two points adrift of Freamunde.
Near and far
On Sunday, Olhanense entertain fourth place Santa Clara who will be making the long trip from the Azores to the José Arcanjo Stadium, Olhão. The game kicks off at 11.15am with live TV coverage on SportTV.
On Thursday, December 22, league leaders SC Portimonense make the short journey along the coast. Kick-off is 4pm and fans are advised to arrive early. Portimonense have only lost one league game this season whilst Olhanense manager Bruno Baltazar will be looking to continue his unbeaten league run since taking charge seven weeks ago.
An intriguing battle between the Algarve’s top two professional sides should whet the appetite of fans of both clubs as well as neutrals.
Photo: Galassi, scorer of the all-important penalty