Portuguese Recap: Mendez Starts, Cannon Rested as Vizela Draws Boavista

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Alex Mendez was the only American to suit up in what could have been a three-Yank extravaganza, as Vizela and Boavista split the points in Liga Portugal Bwin action.

Vizela 2 – 2 Boavista 

American attacking midfielder Alex Mendez started and went 60 minutes against Boavista FC on Sunday, as they battled to an action-packed draw against visiting Boavista.

Reggie Cannon was left off the Boavista roster, having just returned from international duty, and Alejandro Alvarado was not included in the Vizela squad.

The game started well for Mendez who had a chance to put his team ahead in the third minute, but his left footed shot from distance was off frame.

The next chance was going the other way when Boavista’s scrappy goal was disallowed for offsides. Vizela then made an early substitution, bringing on Samu in the 26th minute. He would make an immediate contribution, scoring with a header of off Nuno Morreiro’s free kick just moments after coming onto the field.  

Mendez started second half with a great contribution, sending a ball down the left flank as a strong counterattacking opportunity developed for Vizela. Unfortunately for Mendez, Boavista’s Luis Santos came in studs up as soon as the ball was released.

Santos was shown yellow on the field, but the yellow was changed to a straight red card after VAR review. Mendez tried to continue but was subbed off only ten minutes later, leaving his team with a player advantage to protect a 1-0 lead. 

The lead wouldn’t last more than a minute, though. A Boavista cross came off of Vizela defender Igor Juliao’s elbow, and the referee pointed to the spot. Yanis Hamache converted the ensuing penalty confidently to tie it at one apiece.  

Play opened up after the equalizer, and the two sides traded blocked shots until some quick and clever combination play ended with a second Samu goal.

Vizela, now up a goal and a man, couldn’t keep the advantage. Boavista responded immediately with a clean finish from Petar Musa from just inside the 18-yard box. 

Ten minutes of stoppage time were added, and the teams battled to the final whistle. Boavista earned a last gasp penalty, but Yanis Hamache’s attempt was way too high. The whistle blew leaving both sides frustrated with only one point from the contest. 

Reggie Cannon will hope to get back into the starting lineup when Boavista visits Portimonense on Saturday. Alex Mendez and Vizela travel to Gil Vicente on Sunday. 


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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