NICK LEYDEN - Monday, May 20, 2013
Tony Taylor was a late substitute in Estoril's season finale, capping of the club's best ever season with qualification for the Europa League with a 3-1 win over Gil Vicente.
Entering the day Estoril knew a win or a tie would earn them a ticket to the first European competition in team history.
In the end the result did not matter as a loss by Vitoria de Guimaraes ensured no one could jump over Estoril into fifth place, but the Canaries went out in style anyway, dispatching the home team with three second half goals.
Estoril's nerves certainly were tested in the first half when Sandro opened the scoring for Gil Vicente in the 26th minute, but a barrage from the visitors early in the second half sealed a comeback victory for Estoril.
Steven Vitoria tied the game with a header from a corner kick in the 55th minute.
The outstanding center back then handed Estoril the lead from the spot in the 67th minute after Gil Vicente's goalkeeper, Murta, was shown a red card for bringing down Luis Leal in the box.
Leal added an insurance goal in the 74th minute before being replaced by Taylor in the 85th minute.
With stalwarts like Vitoria and leading scorer Lica rumored to be moving on to bigger clubs, it is likely that by the time the Europa League rolls around Taylor will be taking the field in a significantly different lineup.
Coach Marco Silva, too, is in high demand after guiding the newly promoted team to fifth place.