Pepa’s Paços Push on

Paços de Ferreira was victorious yet again last night, running out 3-1 winners away at Tondela. Douglas Tanque scored a brace in the first half before Yohan Tavares scored an own goal which wrapped up all three points for the Pacenses.

This victory is just the latest in a string of impressive performances from Pepa’s men, who are currently the most in-form team in Portugal over the last seven matches. Since the 23rd of February, Paços have played seven times, won 5 of those (including wins away at high-flying Rio Ave and at home to João Pedro Sousa’s Famalicão) and lost the other two (to Vitória SC and Sporting CP), this means Os Castores have collected 15 points out of a possible 21, the best return from any of the Primeira Liga teams over this period. Leaders Porto has collected 14 points, Sporting also have 14, Braga has 13 and Famãlicao round off the top five with 12 points. 

Domingo 8 de Dezembro de 2019. PAULO SANTOS / ASF PACOS SETUBAL

Paços de Ferreira achieved promotion last season, winning the LigaPro division and finishing five points better off than 2nd placed Famalicão. Overall, it has been an inconsistent season for Pepa’s men so far. They started the 19/20 campaign poorly, failing to win a game until matchday 6. Flurries of good form have appeared throughout but have tended to dissipate as quickly as they arrived. In January, they began to suffer as they did at the beginning of the season, this time going on a torrid run which included four straight defeats. Since February however, this form has been turned around and in no small part thanks to Douglas Tanque, Paços’ lone frontman. The 26-year-old Brazilian hadn’t scored in the Primeira Liga since December 2019. It was becoming clear that if Paços wanted to move away from the relegation conversation, they needed goals and needed them fast. Since the league’s resumption, Douglas Tanque has come back a different player, he has played four games and scored four goals. His goals have been important ones too, including an equaliser against Belensnes which sparked an eventual comeback and two goals tonight which saw Paços defeat Tondela.

For a team who have been promoted from the LigaPro, staying up is always the priority, no matter what club it is and at the time of writing, Paços are in 12th position with 31 points, a cool 7 points clear of Portimonense in 17th. While a return to the glory days of Europa League football isn’t viable this season, they are certainly heading in the right direction. 

Aaron Barton

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