NICK LEYDEN - Sunday, September 12, 2010
Tony Taylor notched his first goal of the Liga Orangina season as Estoril posted a convincing 3-1 win over Sporting Covilhã.
GD Estoril Praia 3-1 Sporting Covilhã
In a game in which the Estoril players wore black armbands to commemorate former star José Torres, who passed away earlier in the week, the fans in the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota were treated to a display worthy of the Portuguese international.
After suffering an away defeat in their opening league game of the season, Estoril came out strong in their home debut and pinned the visitors back from the opening whistle, testing Covilhã's ‘keeper Igor early and often.
The Covilhã defense finally cracked in the 27th minute when former Flamengo striker Paulo Sérgio tallied from just inside the box, his first since arriving from Brazil this summer.
The lead did not last long however, as 19 year old Senegalese defender Abdoulaye Ba equalized against the run of play in the 30th minute.
Despite conceding the goal, Estoril's dominance continued and the 1-1 halftime score flattered the visitors.
Early in the second half Estoril displayed little of the energy and creativity with which they had controlled the opening period. But life was injected back into the game in the 63rd minute when Alex Afonso rose to head home his second goal of the season and give the home team the lead.
Taylor, the only of Estoril's three Yanks to dress for the game, entered for Paulo Sérgio in the 73rd minute and did his part to keep the visitor's goal under threat.
In the dying moments of injury time the former Jacksonville University star struck Estoril's third goal, making sure the box score did not make the game appear closer than it actually was.
The goal was Taylor's first in the young Liga Orangina season, though he has also tallied once in the Taça da Liga. His two total goals tie him for the team lead with Afonso, though Taylor has done it in less than 180 minutes of playing time.
He also remains the only non-Brazilian to score for Estoril this season.
Texas native Greg Garza, who recently signed from Lisbon powerhouse Sporting Clube de Portugal, was not available to make his debut because of his participation in the Cuadrangular International Tournament in Peru with the U-20s.
Os Canarinhos' next league game will be on 9/26 away to Oliveirense. Estoril visited the Estádio Carlos Osório less than a month ago, clinching passage to the second round of the Taça da Liga with a 1-0 victory.