NICK LEYDEN - Monday, August 23, 2010
Tony Taylor was again a second half substitute as Estoril defeated Oliveirense to secure their place in the next round of the Taça da Liga.
Os Canarinhos traveled to Oliveira de Azeméis on Sunday for the final game of Group C knowing that a victory would guarantee passage to the next round.
Standing in their way was undefeated group leaders Oliveirense, who had already qualified.
Coach Vinícius Eutrópio opted not to make any changes to the starting eleven he utilized in last week's tie against Santa Clara, and his charges controlled the first half.
Cleber was forced to make a great save to deny Carlitos in the 11th minute, but the threat seemed to awaken the visitors and it was all Estoril afterwards.
Alex Afonso tucked a Lameirão pass into the net minutes later, but the referee called it back for a foul.
Clodoaldo also came close to breaking the deadlock, but Oliveirense ‘keeper Bruno Vale's quick reactions ensured the game remained scoreless at halftime.
The physicality and pace of the game increased in the second half, and both teams created numerous dangerous chances and accrued multiple yellow cards.
Eutrópio made a double substitution in the 57th minute, bringing on two strikers, Taylor and Brazilian debutant Paulo Sergio, for Afonso and midfielder Tiago Costa.
The tactical changes allowed Estoril to continue piling pressure on the hosts' goal, but time and time again Bruno Vale was up to the challenge.
Os Canarinho's breakthrough finally came from a Da Cunha penalty in the 83rd minute. The referee had no choice but to point to the spot after Bru took down Luciano Bebé in the box; and the Brazilian midfielder made no mistake to give Estoril the win and seal their progress.
With the victory Estoril remains undefeated after three competitive games. They next take the field on Sunday when they open their League campaign on the road to newly promoted Moreirense.