Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Portugal April 2016

Two games on the island of Madeira.

2nd April  Maritimo 2 Nacional 0     Liga  7,098 (c.250 away)

This Madeiran derby was played at the partly redeveloped home of Maritimo.
At the moment only three sides are in use.
They comprise medium sized covered stands while the fourth side will include ‘boxes’ for the corporates.

The visitors from up the mountain had about 250 fans mostly behind one goal but they were also dotted around the ground.

And we saw a feisty first half with plenty of fouls and cards.
Not least a red for Maritimo top scorer Dyego Sousa - an outcome that should really have turned the match towards Nacional.

It seemed to inspire the home side who had the worst of the goalless first period.

But the second was a minor triumph for Maritimo who scored a spectacular opener when Edgar Costa controlled and volleyed in from 25 yards.

They added the clincher near the end when a defender error allowed Eber Bessa to be set free to score left footed and send the fans into ecstasy.

Nacional were disappointing, creating little, and having played against ten men for most of the match.

I made my way back downhill stopping for some soup and salad while watching a man from Madeira (Ronaldo) score the winner at the Nou Camp.

3rd April  Uniao Madeira 2 Vitoria Setubal 2  2,495 (c. 50 away)

The next day I took the bus along the coast to the small town of Ribeira Brava where Uniao play most of their matches.
This small club is one of the oldest in Portugal though it has spent recent years in the lower reaches of the league system.

But having been promoted last season Uniao is trying to consolidate alongside the other two clubs on the island.

And for most of this game, against the visitors from near Lisbon, they looked like getting the three points.
Brazilian Amilton opened the scoring when he latched onto a left wing cross and the same man would outmuscle a defender to score the second on 36 minutes.

Uniao thus went in 2-0 up and in good shape.

But the Setubal coach brought on Hassan to join Salim Cisse up front and that change would eventually make a difference.
Firstly Cisse was well positioned to convert a cross to make it 2-1 and gradually you felt the visitors might get back to parity.

However they had to endure numerous stoppages and various substitutions before, during the six minutes of added time, Hassan headed on for sub Vasco Costa to level it up.

He celebrated wildly and in taking off his shirt was booked and hence dismissed as he had, some moments before, already been given a yellow card.
Somewhat harsh, not that he cared too much.

Overall the result was tough on Uniao who might still survive despite this setback.

Back in Funchal you could enjoy the outdoor ambience whilst partaking of some vino tinto.

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