NICK LEYDEN - Sunday, November 7, 2010
Tony Taylor was again a second half substitute as Estoril defeated Aves to remain in second place in the Liga Orangina.
Estoril continued their push for promotion with another strong performance at the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota, stretching their unbeaten streak to six games with a deserved win.
The hosts took the lead in the 15th minute when the influential Tiago Costa buried a header from the six off a corner kick.
Estoril nearly doubled their advantage just minutes later when Paulo Sérgio forced Helder Godinho into an excellent save.
Luciano Bebé had cleverly played Costa into the corner and the goalscorer's cross was met by the Brazilian striker whose volley was pushed aside by Godinho.
Bebé then created another scoring opportunity when his free kick found the head of former Miami FC striker Alex Afonso, only for the ball to graze the crossbar.
With time winding down in the first half referee Luis Catita whistled for a foul in Estoril's attacking third rather than allowing Os Canarinhos, who had maintained possession, to play on.
Then, in a typically inexplicable fashion which is all too common in the Liga Orangina, he blew for halftime while Bebé was still lining up to take the kick.
Aves created more chances in the second half, though the hosts remained the stronger team.
Vinícius Eutrópio made a double substitution in the 67th minute, swapping Taylor for Sérgio up top and replacing Costa with the massive Steven Vitória who would effectively patrol the area just in front of Estoril's back four.
Taylor's speed was on display immediately as he found himself with only the ‘keeper to beat after an Alex Afonso pass, but the play was ruled offside.
Not long after, the former US U-20 striker was again played behind the Aves defense, but this time Godinho came well off his line to beat Taylor to the ball around 25 yards from goal.
In the 88th minute Estoril finally iced the game when substitute Nelsinho tapped in a cross from Jefferson after a quality counterattack.
A minute prior Taylor had importantly tracked back to deflect an Aves attack out for a corner.
The ensuing corner kick was cleared and holding midfielder Joăo Coimbra released the speedy fullback down the sideline. Jefferson's 50 yard run culminated with a low cross that beat Godinho and allowed Nelsinho to simply guide the ball into the back of the net.
Neither Bryan Arguez nor Greg Garza dressed for the game.
The win puts Estoril on 12 points, two behind first place Gil Vicente who play later in the weekend.
Os Canarinhos next hit the road for a midweek game against first division Rio Ave in the second leg of their League Cup matchup.