Rio Ave and Casa Pia secured their return to the I Liga yesterday, winning their II League last round games. Who still keeps the hope of going up is Desp. Chaves, who lost in Vila do Conde and, therefore, will participate in the play-off with Moreirense.
The big game of the round was scheduled in Vila do Conde, which was an authentic final, since two of the three teams fighting for the two places to climb faced each other: Rio Ave and Desp. Keys. The other was Casa Pia who played at Matosinhos with Leixões.
Well, the games started in spectacular fashion for Vilacondenses and Casapians who were ahead on the scoreboard and marked the territory in terms of goal.
Rio Ave ended up winning 3-0 and, thus, also becoming champion of the second tier for the third time in its history, having already won the title in 1986, 1996 and 2003. year, after a play- nightmarish off with Arouca, this time it was a day of celebration at the Estádio dos Arcos, which started in the first minute with the Ghanaian Yakubu Aziz, the team’s top scorer.
Everything was going perfectly for the team coached by Luís Freire, who in 2019-20 had promoted Nacional to the I League, and it was better when Desportivo de Chaves were reduced to ten by the expulsion of Luís Rocha. The nerves already dominated the Flavian team, which with a glance mortgaged all chances in this game, since the Brazilian defender Aderlan Santos played the role of goalscorer and scored a brace, consuming the victory and the celebration of Rio Ave .
Amid the euphoria of returning to I Liga, Luís Freire praised his players for coming into the game, which turned out to be decisive. “We were champions, we managed to make the difference straight away. We had a game plan and, after the second goal, the game was ours,” said the 36-year-old coach, recalling that his team had won all the direct. confrontations with teams that fought for the ascent: “Rio Ave finishes with 70 points, a high score. I have a fantastic group, great players, great men and that’s what made the difference . It’s another climb I have.” About the next season, Luís Freire recalled that he started “in the neighborhood” and confides in the future: “I believe that I will stay in the I Liga and that I will also celebrate one day.”
An American Casa Pia…
Even easier was the magical morning at Casa Pia, Matosinhos. After all, the team coached by Filipe Martins – who in February was hospitalized for a week due to covid-19 after-effects – settled the problem in the first 16 minutes with three goals scored by Zach Muscat, João Vieira and Jota Silva. And even before the break, the young Jota Silva, the great revelation of the team, scored the fourth goal for the Lisbon people, who went to the locker room in a festive atmosphere, while they still had 45 minutes to play.
In the second half, Leixões still scored the honorable goal from Leo Bolgado, but the Brazilian Derick Poloni in the last game of the game made the final 5-1 and blew up the Casa Pia party, which thus marked the return to the elite. .. 83 years after a single participation.
Filipe Martins did not hide his happiness and recalled that “it was not an easy period”. “We decided to do something that many thought was doomed. I joined a winning group and now we are reaping the fruits of our labor. They thought we were lacking in strength, but we were warriors,” said said the 43-year-old. coach.
President Vítor Seabra Franco was also beaming. “83 years later, here we are. It will be more difficult to hold on up there. Let’s see if we can at least not be a kind of elevator,” he said, moved.
In the distant 1938-39 season, the team then coached by journalist Ricardo Ornelas only won one game, against Barreirense (2-1), otherwise they were beaten in the remaining 13 games they had. disputed. It is with the idea of doing better that the Casapians return to the highest level and for this, the geese – the name by which they became known for the pompous air with which the students of Casa Pia paraded during the official ceremonies – now have the help of an American investor, Robert Platek, also an investor in Spezia (Italy) and Sonderjysk (Denmark), who made an old dream possible.
Interestingly, Casa Pia achieves a historic feat after being saved from relegation to the third tier at the end of the 2019-20 season, as V. Setúbal and Desp. Aves didn’t fulfill the requirements to register for the II Liga, having dropped out of the I Liga. Thus, last season, the foundations were laid (ninth place) so that now the club is celebrating.