Tondela hosts Mafra in the first leg of the Taca de Portugal semifinals. The match will be played on Thursday, March 3rd at Estádio João Cardoso (Tondela)
Like in numerous seasons before, Tondela is trying to avoid relegation from the Portuguese top division. But this did not stop the team from reaching the semifinals of the cup. However, the path to this stage turned out to be far from the easiest. The Gold and Greens conceded at least one goal in all rounds, except for the away game against Rio Ave. It ended with their minimal victory in extra time after the opponents were left with ten men in the second half. In general, Tondela has the weakest defensive line in the championship (47 goals conceded), and even Camacha from the national championship managed to impose a serious struggle on the Gold and Greens at an early stage (Tondela pulled out a 2-1 victory only in extra time).
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Mafra has gone through an equally impressive path, eliminating not only the teams from its division but also Moreirense (3-1), which has the same number of points as Tondela in the championship. Beyond that, Mafra dealt with Portimonense in the quarterfinals. The final 4-2 score brought Mafra players a lot of joy and pride, and now the team that scored in every round (and sometimes more than once) will meet with a quite unreliable defense.
These teams have not played against each other for a very long time, so the upcoming game is likely to be quite interesting. It can only be noted that another potential relegation from the comfort zone will press upon the hosts, and Mafra has great motivation to advance to the final of the Portuguese Cup for the first time. Besides, Mafra is in the middle of the Second League standings, and nothing can distract the players from their goal. I think the visitors will manage to upset the opponents’ goalkeeper.