Desportivo das Aves was mathematically relegated to the II football league today, after having been for three consecutive seasons among the 'big ones' and winning a Portuguese Cup for the first time.
The 1-0 home defeat against Moreirense, the 23rd of the season, sealed the fate of the red lantern, who, with five games to play, can only beat Portimonense (17th and penultimate ranked) and match Tondela (16th).
Desportivo das Aves' early 'condemnation' stems from a disadvantage compared to Tondela, the last team in the maintenance zone, both in the direct confrontation (defeat at home 1-0 and away by 2-0), as well as in a possible tiebreak to three, with the Algarvians.
The formation led by Nuno Manta Santos added today the 10th game without winning, in a cycle that counts on the draws in the visit to Famalicão (1-1) and in the reception to the leader FC Porto (0-0), the only ones of the season , in a championship in which he won only four times.
Two of those triumphs were against Marítimo, who today, when beating Benfica 2-0, ‘condemned’ the relegation of Santo Tirso, who also won Sporting de Braga and Portimonense.
Desportivo das Aves started its sixth season in the I Liga, the third in a row, with Augusto Inácio at the technical command, after the 14th place achieved in 2018/19, when he succeeded José Mota after the first lap.
This record was in a place of the best position ever, the 13th place obtained in 2017/18, under the command of Ricardo Soares, first, Lito Vidigal, later, and Mota, who also led the club to the historic Cup victory from Portugal, when they won Sporting in the final, weakened after the attack on the academy in Alcochete.
José Mota ended up being the 'worker' of this unprecedented feat, ensuring the right to compete in the Super Cup Cândido Oliveira – who lost 3-1 to FC Porto – practically a year after having secured Aves' return to the top level, after succeeding Ivo Vieira in the middle of the season.
This interaction with the 'greats' for three years was distinguished from the previous passages of Desportivo das Aves by the main echelon, all concluded with relegation after a single season, with the 16th and last place in 2006/07, the 17th in 2000/01 and the 13th in 1985/86, when he was beaten in the 'liguilha' by Varzim.