NICK LEYDEN - Sunday, April 18, 2010
Tony Taylor was the only Yank to see action this weekend in Portugal as Estoril fell to Penafiel.
FC Penafiel 1-0 GD Estoril-Praia
Former US U-20 striker Tony Taylor replaced Jéremie at halftime of Estoril's 1-0 loss at Penafiel, garnering his first significant playing time since his transfer this winter.
It was a dull contest between two teams looking to distance themselves from the relegation battle. Fans in the Estádio 25 de Abril had to wait until the 24th minute to see the game's first shot. Even then, Lulinha's attempt was blocked by Penafiel defender Bura before it reached the goal.
Looking to inject life into the attack Estoril coach Neca opted to send Taylor on for the second half at the expense of the giant Cameroonian.
The Jacksonville, Florida product , who has impressed in a series of reserve league matches, was unable to alter the game's tedious rhythm though.
Penafiel finally threatened the Estoril goal for the first time in the 53rd minute but ‘keeper Paulo Santos was equal to Michel's effort.
The Brazilian would have the last laugh, however, as he netted the one and only goal in the 87th minute, converting a penalty after Marco Silva handled the ball in the box.
In the confusion between the handball and the actual spotkick, Penafiel had on-loan Porto midfielder Josué sent off for a confrontation with Paulo Santos.
Despite bringing on yet another forward in Rodrigo Hote, Estoril could not capitalize on the numeric advantage in the closing minutes, and Penafiel claimed the slim victory.
Fellow Florida native, Bryan Arguez, did not dress for Estoril.
The loss keeps Os Canarinhos in 12th place in the 16 team Liga Vitalis, while Penafiel climbed to eighth. Estoril remain just six points clear of relegation with three games remaining.
They will next be in action when they host Kamani Hill's CD Aves in the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota on Saturday.
Gale Agbossoumonde was not on the roster for Braga's 3-1 victory over Leixões. The win keeps the second place club's faint title hopes alive, though they will need high flying Benfica to drop points in at least two of the final three games.
For the second week in a row Kamani Hill did not dress for Aves, who battled to a tie with promotion chasing Portimonense.