JOHN KRETLOW - Monday, November 7, 2011
Tony Taylor and Caleb Patterson-Sewell took their customary spots in the Atlético lineup as yet another shutout victory stretched their lead at the top of the standings, while Oguchi Onyewu missed out on Sporting's win over Leiria through injury.
Portimonense SC 0 - 1 Atlético CP
A counter attack goal by Leandro Pimenta in the 72nd minute handed Atlético their fourth 1-0 victory of the season and moved the Lisbon team five points above the nearest challengers at the top of the Liga Orangina.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell has backstopped a defense that has now recorded seven shutouts in nine league games, including four in a row. This time, though, the goose egg had more to do with the host's wastefulness in front of net than an inspired defensive performance.
Portimonense controlled the proceedings from early on but lacked the necessary precision in attack, missing numerous chances from beginning to end.
With Atlético's midfield struggling to possess the ball and create offense, Tony Taylor and crew had a quiet night up top. The Florida native earned a yellow card in the 31st minute, but otherwise was not a consistent factor.
Taylor was replaced by Bruno Carvalho just a minute before Pimenta converted the only goal of the game on what was Atlético's clearest opportunity.
The league leaders now have a couple weeks off before taking on Moreirense at home on 11/27.
Having recently struggled with an injury, Oguchi Onyewu was not named to the game day roster for Sporting's 3-1 victory over Leiria. Two goals by Chilean midfielder Matias Fernandez and a late penalty kick by Ricky van Wolfswinkel secured the full three points for the Lisbon club. Domingos Paciencia will be anxious for Onyewu to return to health, though, as a mistake by his replacement,Tiago Ilori, was to blame for the visitor's tally. The win pulls Sporting to within one point of league leaders Porto and Benfica, setting up a crucial visit to Benfica, their crosstown nemesis, on November 26th.