NICK LEYDEN - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Tony Taylor and Greg Garza will hope to push Estoril past Naval in must-win cup game on Wednesday afternoon when they travel north to Figueira da Foz.
After suffering a 1-0 loss to Penafiel in their first group game of the Taça da Liga's third round, Os Canarinhos know another defeat would effectively see them eliminated from the competition as only a game against Portuguese giant Sporting would remain.
The hosts also lost their group opener, a 2-0 setback at Sporting, but they are still favorites to advance ahead of the group's pair of second division teams, Estoril and Penafiel.
The break from the Liga Orangina schedule may be a welcome change for Estoril, who have lost three games in a row while scoring just one goal.
Despite the poor run of results though, Os Canarinhos will only need to look back to their performance in the previous round of the cup to find a reason to believe. It was in that round that they travelled to face another first division side, Rio Ave, and returned home victorious.
Naval, who currently sit in last place, six points behind Rio Ave, will also enter the game hoping to reverse recent trends. They have not won at the Estádio Municipal José Bento Pessoa all season, picking up just two ties in seven home games. And they have lost six of their previous seven in all competitions.
Coach Vinícius Eutrópio should have a nearly complete roster to choose from for Estoril, as only captain Marco Silva has been ruled out through injury. Fellow defenders Jefferson and Garza are also both available, as the former has returned from suspension and the latter from US U-20 duty.
Taylor has one goal in limited action in the cup, while Garza's only appearance for Os Canarinhos thus far came in the Penafiel defeat.