NICK LEYDEN - Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tony Taylor played the full 90 minutes for Estoril in an exciting draw against first division Naval in the Taça da Liga on Wednesday afternoon.
After making several changes to his regular starting lineup, including the addition of Taylor, Coach Vinícius Eutrópio saw his team struggle to find their rhythm as they conceded two early goals to the hosts.
French striker Robin Prévitali opened the scoring for Naval in the ninth minute off of a Hugo Machado corner. Machado then doubled their advantage just four minutes later with his first goal of the season, curling the ball into the upper right corner.
Down but not out, Os Canarinhos stormed back before the half.
In the 21st minute former Corinthians striker Clodoaldo notched his first goal for Estoril when he swept home a penalty, despite claims from the Naval bench that Estoril should have been whistled for an offsides violation prior to the foul.
Seven minutes before the half Da Cunha leveled the score for Estoril when he beat Bruno with a free kick.
The second half could not match the pace of the first as Estoril sat back, looking to capitalize on the counterattack. Naval controlled possession and threatened Cleber's goals on a handful of occasions but could not find the decisive finishing touch, which left Coach Carlos Mozer ruing the missed chances in post-game interviews.
The result leaves both teams with one point following two group games, making it difficult for either to advance to the fourth round. Sporting and Penafiel, who play later in the week, are currently tied for first with three points apiece.
Os Canarinhos will now know that anything less than a win against Sporting in their final group game will mean elimination.
For Taylor it was the first time he has gone the distance since the opening game of the Taça da Liga in early August, but he is expected to return to the bench when Estoril resume league play on the weekend.
Fellow Yank Greg Garza, who made his Estoril debut in the previous cup game, did not make the game day roster after having missed two weeks while on US U-20 duty.