Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Portugal May 2017

13th May 2017  Feirense 2 Sporting 1  Primeira League   3,458 (c. 2,000 away)

Beginning with an early start at Luton airport.
A place that continues to win the award for the worst airport in the country featuring a mess outside, cramped inside and not enough security lanes.

Fortunately the Porto equivalent was a lot more conducive.

It was a big day in Portugal but not for Sporting.
Who not only lost but also had to endure Benfica claiming another title triggering big celebrations for the red part of Lisbon and beyond.

All that was complemented by the Pope’s visit to Fatima and Portugal winning their first Eurovision contest.

Santa Maria da Feira was significantly quieter.
The town, with its small old centre, is overlooked by an 11th century castle

Nearby at the tidy estadio Marcolino de Castro the visitors began with big Bas Dost up front and he set about winning all the headers.
One of which allowed Gelson Martins to score from close range on 19 minutes.

However the tide would turn as the pacy home forwards asserted more influence.

Feirense would level before half time when Tiago Silva glanced in a left wing free kick.
The same man would eventually score the winner from the spot after Etebo was brought down.
That was with twenty minutes remaining.

And despite the prompting of William Carvalho and co. Sporting couldn’t quite manage the equaliser.
Which was primarily down to the some great saves from home goalie Vana.

It was a fine end to the home campaign for Feirense, guaranteed 8th in the table, but not so good for Sporting who did at least confirm 3rd place behind Benfica and Porto.

14th May  Penafiel 0  Leixoes 0  Segunda  1,526 (c. 600 away)

Penafiel is about half an hour or so from the east side of Porto.
A large group of visiting fans made the trip to support their team in the battle against relegation.
They made plenty of noise behind the right hand goal.

And for the most part it was Leixoes who pressed forward in a lively opening period.
Cadu, Fatai and Lamas all went close before Goncalo clipped the bar for the home side.

That pattern continued after the interval with Fati missing another chance and Lamas cracking a drive against the post.
Though it seemed the visitors might regret those missed opportunities ultimately a point was a reasonable outcome for both sides.

I dodged the showers and drove back to my hotel near Porto airport.
Ready for the return to London - to Gatwick rather than the Luton nightmare.

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