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Ofori & Bukia’s FC Arouca promoted to Primeira Liga after play-off triumph over Rio Ave

00:21 BST 31/05/2021
Portugal fans
Goals from Arsenio and Jose Velazquez were enough for the Arouquenses to subdue Miguel Cardoso’s men at Estadio dos Arcos

FC Arouca have ended a five-year break from the Primeira Liga after they triumphed 5-0 on aggregate against Rio Ave in the Liga Portugal 2 play-off game played on Sunday evening.

Having won the first-leg 3-0, the Arouquenses completed a double over Miguel Cardoso’s men with a 2-0 result at Estadio dos Arcos.

A first-half goal from Arsenio as well as a second-half effort by Jose Velazquez were enough for them to secure the victory that earned them a return to the Portuguese elite division.

The impressive result away from home also extended Arouca’s winning streak to 11 in all competitions. For Rio Ave, they will begin life in the second tier when the 2021-22 season commences.

Needing to overturn their three-goal deficit, Cardoso’s men began the encounter on an impressive note, but, their attacking forays did not translate to goals as goalkeeper Victor Braga put up an outstanding performance.

Despite their opponents dominating ball possession, it was Arouca who took the lead in the 32nd minute courtesy of Arsenio.

After a one-two exchange with Pedro Moreira, the Portuguese midfielder drilled an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Pawel Kieszek.

Rio Ave almost levelled matters immediately but goalkeeper Braga punched Carlos Mane’s shot over the crossbar for a corner kick.

Three minutes into the second half, the visiting side were on the verge of extending their lead, but Andre Silva’s header from a freekick sailed over the crossbar.

On the opposing side, Ronan low shot was stopped Braga following a poor clearance from Arouca defenders.

Rio Ave’s place in the second division was confirmed in the 59th minute as they conceded their second goal of the evening after Velazquez fired Quaresma’s cross past a stranded Kieszek.

Congo international Andre Bukia was handed a starter's role by Arouca, however, he was substituted for Brazilian forward Adilio in the 67th minute.

For Ghana's Lawrence Ofori, he was taken off for Mauro Caballero with eight minutes left to play. His compatriot Yaw Moses was not listed for action, nor were Cameroon's Norbert Haymamba and Cape Verde duo of Junior Sena and Marco Soares.

For Rio Ave, Angola's Gelson Dala and Guinea Bissau's Pele were in action but could do little in rescuing the Vila do Conde based outfit.