Liga Weekend Action Begins With Surprise in the Azores; Bruno Pinheiro Rejects Besiktas, Staying with Estoril

Round 15 started tonight in the Azores with Rui Costa scoring the only goal in the 40th minute for a 1-0 win by Santa Clara over Vitória de Guimarães.

It has been a bittersweet week for Santa Clara who saw manager Nuno Campos depart, which will force the club to hire their third manager in three months.

The good news is they are in the Taca da Liga Final Four and now tonight’s win helps them to 13 points for a 10th place tie with Vizela and Arouca, who still have to play this weekend.

Assistant Tiago Sousa managed the club and after the final whistle the squad all group hugged him to celebrate recording the big three points.

Santa Clara director Emmanuel Simoes said they have not contacted anyone as of yet for manager, but whoever they do talk to must know the Liga very well and understand the realities of their club.

VSC stay in seventh place with 22 points and could drift further apart from SC Braga (25), Estoril (24) and Portimonense (23) pending weekend results.

VSC manager Pepa was frustrated after the loss “Everything was missing. Today we wasted 90 minutes and that in life you can’t even waste a minute and today we wasted. We weren’t equal to ourselves in terms of quality in the offensive process, where we usually create a lot of opportunities.”

Estoril manager Bruno Pinheiro has been in the news with reports saying he will be the next manager of Besiktas in Turkey.

However, after the match, per Pedro Sepulveda, he told his squad he is staying at least through the end of the season in a big turn of events that at one point seemed like he was heading to Istanbul.

The first half was mostly quiet until three goals were scored in the 42nd (own goal Bernardo Vital), 45th (Rui Fonte) and 45+3 (Chiquinho) minutes to blow up the scoreless action (video below).

French striker Banza leveled for Famalicão in the 54th minute to make it 2-2 and that stayed as the final result.

Famalicao get a much-needed point in the draw. It is their first Liga point since November 4.