KingFut continues to round up group stage matches of the 2017 Africa Cup...
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VIDEO: Ghazal scores his second of the season in Nacional win
After their midweek Taça de Portugal defeat against Sporting, Nacional returned to league action with a tough game against Marwan Mohsen’s Gil Vicente with the home side on a four-game winless streak in the Liga — their worst run of form in 2015.
Marco Matias scored the opener for Nacional just before the half-hour mark, latching onto a lose ball from Christian’s attempt at goal just inside the area. However, just three minutes after half-time Simy equalised for the visitors, firing a left-footed shot past Gottardi to make it 1-1.
Both sides were in need of a win for contrasting reasons; Nacional are fighting for a Europa League spot while Gil Vicente have been hovering around the relegation zone for most of the season, so it was unsurprising that the goals continued to flow as both pushed for a result.
Naconal restored their lead with 23 minutes remaining; Egypt’s Aly Ghazal scoring a rare, yet important, goal as he latched onto a rebound following a Tiago Rodrigues free-kick. But the joy was short-lived, as Simy once again popped up for Gil Vicente just eight minutes later with the leveller, taking advantage of a long-pass and firing past the goalkeeper.
Nacional’s claims of offside were ignored by the officials, while just a minute before the goal, Zainadine was given his marching orders for the home side for a second bookable offence, leading to further complaints, not least by Manual Machado who labelled the decision “excessive” in his post-match interview.
Despite being a man down, it was Nacional that ran out winners with Marco Matias netting his 13th of the season, and second of the game, with 80 minutes on the clock to ensure that the home side got back to winning ways to keep alive their – albeit faint – hopes of Europa League qualification.
Next up for Nacional is the Madeira Derby against local rivals Marítimo on the 19th.