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Solid defence maintains unbeaten run

GD Chaves arrived in the Algarve having lost only one of their last 21 games but without three regulars, sidelined through suspension.

SC Olhanense started in positive mood with Galassi and Gonzalez worrying a hesitant Chaves defence. After 12 minutes, the visitors were all over the place and when Said was felled in the box, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Galassi stepped up and sent Paulo Ribeiro the wrong way to notch up his ninth goal of the season, eight of them penalties!

Chaves hit back and went close through Luís Barry (15’) and João Reis (23’) with Olhanense keeper Moreira making two competent saves. At the other end there was a strong claim for another penalty as Miguel Ângelo appeared to handle a Leandro Borges shot on the goal line.

Moreira was again in fine form in goal and on the one occasion he did made a mistake, allowing the ball to squeeze past him into the net, the referee’s assistant quite rightly flagged for offside. In the second-half, Olhanense boss Cristiano Bacci bolstered his defence by replacing Gonzalez with Lucas Morelatto, helping the Algarveans secure a big 1-0 win.

It was an encouraging performance with Rodolfo Lourenço, Coubronne, Materazzi and Tiago Duque rock solid at the back, and it was also good to see Murilo, the day after his 21st birthday, making an appearance for the last 20 minutes. The exciting young Brazilian had been missing for several months through injury and it is hoped he can recreate his early season form at a time when Olhanense are finding it difficult to score from open play.

Four days later and a 1,100km round trip to play Académico Viseu saw Olhanense return with a hard-fought point from a 0-0 draw. Murilo started upfront whilst Galassi was given a well deserved break on the bench. Galassi’s recent form and hard work has attracted the attention of a number of top flight clubs back in his native Italy. Going into last Wednesday’s home game (as the Resident went to print) against Gil Vicente, the Olhão-based team had not conceded a goal for over six hours, and had moved up to ninth place with an outside chance of grabbing one of the two promotion places.