Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Portugal January 2009

Cold & Damp;  Even.

Vitoria Guimaraes 0 Estrela Amadora 0

Two low scoring middle of the table teams did what comes naturally - failed to score.

Some 50km or so from Porto is Guimaraes. It has an historic centre and a stadium that was used for the Euros.

On this Saturday evening most of snow had been cleared from the pitch and over 11,000 came out to see the game.

Generally Vitoria struggled to create chances and it was Amadora who had the stand-out player in Silvestre Varela. He sped down the left and produced more danger than anyone else.
But none of his crosses were converted.
Despite an extended period of added time and various corners Vitoria couldn't get the winner.

So the White Angels, the local fans, went away frustrated.

Class from the Azores.

Oliveirense 1 Santa Clara 2

An early, 11.15am, start for this second level (TV) game pitching bottom team Oliveirense against 2nd in the table Santa Clara.

The team from the Azores treated us to two superb goals as their extra class overcame a good effort by the home team.

The prolonged injury time, needed because of the time wasting by the away team, nearly produced an equaliser as Oliveirense didn't really look like a relegation threatened side.

At least it was bright & sunny for the 740 spectators.

Navy beats Academe.

Naval 2 Academica 1

From Oliveira de Azemeis to Figueira da Foz.

In an older style ground , with just over 2,000 present, this local derby did at least bring out a good number of away fans for my second game of the day.

Though the first half was not too exciting the second speeded-up as two defensive mistakes, one by the goalie, cost Academica the game.
Substitute Sougou did chip one in for the Coimbra team but amidst the typical stoppages and delaying tactics Naval managed to hold on for the win.

O Porto

Porto 0 Trofense 0

My third game of this Sunday took me back to my base in Porto.

The Dragao was reasonably well attended on this cold night especially by the away fans - some 1,000 of them. For Trofense this is their first season in the Portuguese top level.

Their team survived some scares as Porto could have scored in the first minute and no doubt then it would have been a different game. But later in the first half the away side held their own and settled into the contest.

Into the 2nd half and it became attack against defence as Porto dominated possession whilst Trofense produced the odd breakaway. We had Hulk headers but no goals.

Just like the other games the game ended with ultra time wasting and ultimately frustration for ex-league leaders Porto.

more pics at http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/91244785

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