By CHRIS WRIGHT
After two consecutive away wins, including the shock victory at SC Braga, the Algarve’s only Premier Liga team were keen to finish their home campaign in style against Marítimo.
Manager Sérgio Conceição fielded his strongest available eleven, only Wilson Eduardo was missing with a broken bone in his foot to be replaced by Toy. On seven minutes the quicksilver Salvador Agra skipped down the right-wing and whipped in a cross to the near post.
Dady darted in, only to see his header whistle past the upright. Minutes later and Agra set-up Rui Duarte but his effort was high and wide. The Madeira visitors slowed the game down and their control and passing was a delight to watch.
Midway through the half, Fernando Alexandre’s diagonal through ball split the Marítimo defence only for Rui Duarte to see his searing shot rebound off the post. With half-time fast approaching Salvador Agra should have done better when given a clear sight of goal. The first-half had been an enjoyable and tactical battle between two evenly matched sided but the second period was dire. Marítimo, who only needed a point to secure fifth place and qualify for Europe, were content to sit back whilst the home side showed no desire to take the game to their opponents.
The game ended 0-0 but Olhanense will be happy with the point which secured 8th place irrespective of the last round of results this weekend. The last game at Aveiro against Beira-Mar tomorrow will be the last time many of the first team squad will wear the Olhanense shirt.
On the move is Salvador Agra signed by Real Betis (Sevilla) and he could be joined by Fabiano Freitas who has been in fantastic form all season. The highly rated keeper has attracted interest from several clubs including Palmeiras from São Paulo (Brazil). Midfielder Caué is rumoured to be wanted by several French and German clubs including SC Freiberg (Germany) whilst loanee signings Andre Pinto (Porto) together with Mexer and Wilson Eduardo (both Sporting) will return to their respective clubs.