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VIDEO: Saleh Gomaa scores first goal in Nacional win
Nacional, 4th in the Liga Zon Sagres, started with Ali Ghazal and left Saleh Gomaa on the bench. It was Belenenses who got off to a brighter start, but Nacional soon took control of the match and had several chances at goal.
At the 26th minute, Nacional managed to score, thanks to the Cape-Verdian Djaniny, who shot from outside the box and the ball placed itself as far away as possible from goalkeeper Matt Jones, giving the Madeiran side the lead.
After the goal, Nacional slowed down and it was thanks to goalkeeper Gottardi that Rudy and Miguel Rosa didn’t manage to score an equalizer for Belenenses just before half-time.
After the break, Belenenses remained strong, but without being able to reach the final third of the pitch effectively. Nacional decided to rely on quick transitions and coach Manuel Machado took out Ghazal to bring in Gomaa on for his third league match.
At the 66th minute, with Gomaa on the pitch for only 10 minutes, Nacional doubled their lead. Djaniny stole the ball off João Afonso, sprinted down the right side of the field and crossed into the path of Gomaa, who only had to make sure the ball would cross the goal line. The Pharaoh was delighted and ran straight into the arms of Ghazal, who has been helping with his adaptation.
Afterwards, Nacional took a step back, but Belenenses still couldn’t manage to create any dangerous opportunities, aside from Kay’s header at the 87th minute, which went wide.
Nacional secure their 4th position in the league and will be hoping for slip-ups from their main competitors, in order to guarantee an European qualification spot.