Vizela’s Alex Mendez was the only American in action on Portuguese soil this weekend, although Boavista’s Reggie Cannon did get a short run-out in a historic losing effort.

FC Vizela  3 – 2 Vitoria

Alex Mendez got the start and played a solid game, completing 83% of his passes and getting off two shots in FC Vizela’s much needed win against Vitoria Guimaraes.  

18 year-old midfield Alejandro Alvarado was not in the squad for Vizela.

It was a back and forth game with lots of goals and plenty of action. Sixth place Vitoria hoped to keep their Europa league qualifying spot when they traveled to thirteenth place Vizela.

Rochinha would open the scoring for Vitoria in the 21st minute, beating Vizela goalkeeper Pedro Silva at his near post in spectacular fashion with with a bicycle kick. 

Vizela pulled even in the 33rd minute though, when Toni Borevkovic’s attempted clearance fell right to Raphael Guzzo, who headed it in. 

Cassiano broke deadlock for Vizela in the 54th minute when the Brazilian found himself unmarked for a tap-in after Ruben Lameiras’s close range shot was cleared off the line. 

The Vizela lead was extended to two at the 60th minute with Nuno Morreira chesting down a cross into the path of Mohamed Aidara, who swept it in with his left foot. 

Not willing to bow out, Vitoria pulled one back in the 83rd minute when Bruno put a strong header past Silva. 

Mendez’s night would end just before the final whistle when he was subbed off in the 90th minute, just seconds after being given a yellow card. Vizela was able to hold off Vitoria’s final push, though, and secure the three points. 

Vizela needed this home victory. The second consecutive win brings them from 16th place to tenth and six points clear of relegation.  

Their next match is Sunday, February 6 when they will travel to play Boavista. Mendez could face off against fellow American Reggie Cannon in a Yanks vs. Yank battle, who will be returning to Boavista after his time with the national team. 

Notes 

Reggie Cannon will miss Boavista’s Tuesday game when Boavista play CD Santa Clara, however did see action this weekend, coming on as a late substitute for Gregg Berhalter in the USA’s 2-0 loss to Canada on Sunday.

21 year-old goalkeeper Carlos Dos Santos was not in the squad for Benfica B’s 2-0 loss to Trofense in Segunda Liga action. 

Sebastian Soto, on loan from EPL side Norwich City, completed a mid-week transfer from Porto B to Livingston FC in the Scottish Premiership.  

By Dan Whelton

Dan is a statesider living in Connecticut. He was a latecomer to obsessing about the beautiful game, with the spark coming while watching the US play into the quarter finals in 2002. That fire was fanned when he married into a football-centric French family, full of eternal football souls. When he's not coaching the youth teams of his two children, he loves watching and discussing the continued development of the sport in this country, and of the players that represent the U.S. on teams all over the world.

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