By CHRIS WRIGHT
After a week of the Olhão Seafood Festival, it was appropriate that the town’s Premier League football team should serve up a feast of football for their passionate fans.
Nearly 6,000 people packed into the José Arcanjo Stadium on Monday evening to witness Olhanense’s first game of the season against V.Guimarães, a game shown live on Sport TV. With seven summer signings making their debut under new manager Daúto Faquirá there was a nervous expectation amongst the home supporters.
The game was only 10 minutes old when a flowing Olhanense move, involving six players, resulted in Nuno Piloto’s shot narrowly going wide.
The home side were buzzing and playing attractive football whilst ready to strike when the opportunity arose.
V.Guimarães were without the suspended Ricardo and Douglas and with Moreno also missing, transferred to Leicester City in the summer, they seemed a shadow of the team that finished sixth last season.
Paulo Sérgio and Jorge Gonçlaves were switching wings with impunity as the Algarveans continued to press.
New signing 24 year old Vinícius (ex. Rio Ave) was the ‘man-of-the-match’ as his tenacious tackles and ball winning skills in midfield completely unsettled the visitors.
V.Guimarães had their first shot on goal in the 25th minute, which was easily gathered by former Benfica keeper Moretto.
This was the one area of the Olhanense team that looked vulnerable, with the nervous Moretto failing to gather high balls on several occasions.
The opposite can be said of the visitor’s keeper Nilson, who made three world class saves to deny Olhanense victory.
A 50-metre crossfield pass picked out Jorge Gonçalves, whose first touch was perfect as he cut inside the flat footed Guimarães defence.
The ball was arrowing towards the bottom corner of the net when Nilson threw himself full length to tip the ball round the post.
V.Guimarães had two late opportunities to win the game and how they could have done with Bébé, transferred to Manchester United for 8.8million Euros last week.
The final score of 0-0 did not reflect Olhanense’s superiority and the visitors will have been happy to escape with a point.
Tonight (Friday), Olhanense play away at Académica where former manager Jorge Costa is now in charge.
The Coimbra team brought off the shock result of the opening weekend with 2-1 away win over champions Benfica at the Stadium of Light.
This evening’s battle, live on Sport TV 8.15pm, will be a good indication of how these two teams are likely to fare this season.
U.LeirIa visit Olhão next weekend, on Sunday, August 29, kick-off 7pm.