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Gomaa sees red in Nacional win

Nacional progress

Aly Ghazal and Saleh Gomaa both featured as Nacional extended their winning run to four Primeira Liga games with a hard-fought victory over Belenenses at the Estádio da Madeira.

After their poor start to the season which lasted until Christmas, Nacional appear to have found a winning formula. It hasn’t been pretty, and, if you ask the club’s fans, they will probably tell you that it’s not good for their health either.

With very few clear-cut chances inside the opening half hour, the biggest talking point was a penalty shout for the home side after Marco Matias appeared to have been fouled inside the box by Palmeira, however the referee, Rui Costa, wasn’t impressed and booked the 25-year-old for simulation, perhaps wrongly as the replay suggested that Matias was indeed fouled.

Nacional took control of the game towards the end of the half, and opened the scoring six minutes before the interval courtesy of a terrific free-kick into the top-right corner by Tiago Rodrigues, who recent joined Nacional on loan from Porto.

Belenenses hit back within minutes through a stunning header by Miguel Rosa. This goal also highlighted once again where Nacional’s main weakness is, and their coach, Manuel Machado will not be pleased with the high-line his team played this evening because it made the game a lot more difficult than it ought to have been.

After the interval, Lucas João forced a good save out of Hugo Ventura in the Belenenses goal with a 25-yard shot three minutes before Marcos Matias scored the winner for the home side, after he tapped in a Mario Rondón cross from close range after 55 minutes. That was Rondón’s first touch of the game, as the Venezuelan international had just came on as a substitute before the attack started.

Nacional were made to work for their win though, and it wasn’t made any easier when Saleh Gomaa received a second yellow for a foul on Deyverson with ten minutes remaining. The Egyptian had received his first yellow in the first half, and while Deyverson’s theatrical reaction made the foul look worse than it actually was, Gomaa could have no complaints.

2-1 is how it ended, despite a late onslaught by the away side and Nacional have now won four in a row in the Primeira Liga, and with this win, they moved to within three points of Belenenses, into 11th place.

Next up for Nacional is an away game against Arouca in a week’s time.

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