When East meets West

FLOODLIT ROBBERY

By SKIP BANDELE sport@algarveresident.com

Portimão’s eagerly awaited first return of the season to their own refurbished stadium left a bitter taste following some controversial refereeing decisions.

“I am not going to say that people are dishonest,” frustrated club President Fernando Rocha vented after the game. “Rather that a lack of concentration, incompetence or bad luck played their part.”

Portimonense belied their lowly position in the league table with some free-flowing football which had their visitors from Olhão on the back foot for most of the game. A powerful shot from Lito on the half hour opened up a more than deserved lead which Calvin Kadi appeared to have doubled shortly before the interval – only for linesman Hernani Fernandes to raise his flag for off-side despite conclusive proof that the South African striker’s goal was perfectly legitimate.

Portimão continued to dominate throughout the second playing period with only a great save from Ricardo Batista in the Olhão goal denying Candeias in the 66th minute. With the clock ticking down, three precious points and only a second victory of the season seemed secure until referee Hugo Miguel pointed to the penalty spot shortly before the end. For all the world there appeared to have been no contact between Portimão captain Ricardo Pessoa and Olhão forward Paulo Sergio but the Lisbon official stood by his decision allowing Djalmir to slot home and tie the score at one a piece.  

“They took one goal away from us and gave a penalty close to the finish,” said luckless coach Carlos Azenha. “In all honesty, we won.”

Portimão, back at home and with a much improved performance in front of almost 5000 spectators, can at least retain a little hope of escaping their predicament by the end of the season.

Next up is Beira-Mar away this Sunday at 4pm before Nacional de Madeira come to the Algarve the following weekend.

ABSENT MINDS

By CHRIS WRIGHT sport@algarveresident.com

Olhanense, pushing for a UEFA Europa League place, could have been 3-0 down after only 10 minutes as Portimonense belied their position at the bottom of Liga ZON Sagres. Nascimento shot over the bar, Pedro Moreira had a shot saved by Batista and a crucial intercept by Andre Micael denied the home side an early lead. Olhanense were not in the game, although skipper Dui Duarte did hit the post on 20 minutes.

After half-an-hour Portimonense deservedly took the lead when Lito smashed the ball home after poor defensive play. Within minutes, Portimonense had the ball in the net again but the referee’s assistant ruled it out for offside. An incorrect decision as TV replays

later showed.

With five minutes of the half remaining, Olhanense keeper Batista rushed off his line to nick the ball away from the dangerous Pedro Silva. Chilean player Suarez made his debut for the visitors when he replaced the injured Mexer shortly after half-time. Midway through the second period, Candeia would have sewn up the points for Portimonense but for a fine save by Batista.

Minutes later, Lulinha replaced Carlos Fernandes and, for the first time in the game, Olhanense started to pass the ball around with more purpose. Five minutes from time, Ricardo Pessoa pulled back Paulo Sérgio in the box and Djalmir hammered home the resulting spot-kick.

In added-on time Lulinha cut inside and fired in a fierce shot that Ventura could only parry. Somehow Djalmir managed to blaze the rebound over the bar from two metres when it would have been easier to score. A 1-1 draw was all that Olhanense deserved and victory would have been an injustice to a Portimonense side that might just escape relegation if they continue to show this form. At the end of the game, the coach and president of Portimonense complained about the refereeing, but conveniently forgot to mention the highly aggressive challenge on Mexer, which went unpunished, by Pedro Silva and which warranted a red card as TV replays clearly showed.
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