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The great escape

Portimonense rode their luck to grab a 1-0 win and three invaluable points at Leixões’ Estádio do Mar in Matosinhos last Saturday afternoon.

The second division strugglers wasted a handful of golden opportunities to score over a one-sided first-half during which home keeper Ricardo Moura was rarely troubled.

The onslaught continued after the interval with Moura’s opposite number, Leo, producing an outstanding save and thus paving the way for Pires to score from a 56th-minute Ryuki free kick against the run of play. Shortly afterwards, Jadson came close to adding insult to injury when heading against the Leixões post before the hosts regained the upper hand.

Lisbon referee Hugo Miguel waved away justified claims for a penalty in the 71st minute and a combination of more Leo heroics and the woodwork saw Portimonense survive the remainder of the match with the most unlikely of victories.

Having closed the gap on the promotion places to three points, manager José Augusto will have been aware that an improved performance was required on Wednesday afternoon when immediate rivals Freamunde – in fourth place, one point ahead – were the visitors to the municipal stadium (played after the Resident went to press).

Hot on the heels of that encounter another big match follows this Saturday afternoon when Portimonense travel east in the hope of maintaining their perfect record in Algarve derbies this season against Olhanense.