Ten-man Rio Ave hold on in a thrilling 2-1 victory against Gil Vicente

Rio Ave climbed into the top half of the Primeira Liga after an entertaining 2-1 win against Gil Vicente at Estádio dos Arcos.

The Vila do Conde club took a 2-0 lead into the break, Fábio Ronaldo scoring in the 15th minute before delivering a cross that Costinha converted in added time.

Amine Oudrhiri was sent off in the 58th minute which immediately put Rio Ave on the back foot, the visitors reducing the deficit four minutes later after Ronaldo’s own goal.

Gil Vicente couldn’t break through but were given a golden opportunity to equalise in added time when Paulo Vitor conceded a penalty. Navarro’s spot kick was saved by Jhonatan, the goalkeeper deservedly named man of the match.

Rio Ave take a 2-0 lead into the break

There were no signs of a cagey clash in Vila do Conde, Juan Manuel Boselli firing the first attempt of the match which was tipped wide by Jhonatan.

Fábio Ronaldo, Guga and João Graça all saw shots blocked as Rio Ave were looking to create openings down the left wing. It was from that channel they took the lead in the 15th minute.

André Pereira did well to hold off Pedro Tiba and send Ronaldo through on goal, the 21-year-old winger keeping his cool and beating Andrew.

Vitor Carvalho was booked for taking down Guga and was fortunate to escape a second booking after a loose swing injured Andreas Samaris.

The chances were coming for both teams as Pedro Tiba’s shot was tipped over the bar by Jhonatan, Emmanuel Boateng headed Ronaldo’s cross wide and Renato Pantalon blocked a close range effort from Fran Navarro.

Rio Ave doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time after a well worked move that was started by Guga. The midfielder spread the play to the left wing once again, Ronaldo doing well to deliver a pinpoint cross that was headed home by Costinha.

Amine Oudrhiri replaced the injured Samaris at the break before André Pereira took over the game. The striker took advantage of Tomás Araújo’s hesitation and forced a save from Andrew, headed João Graça’s cross wide before another effort was deflected away from goal.

Hosts go down to 10 men

Daniel Sousa replaced Boselli with Marlon in the 58th minute, and less than 30 seconds later his team had an extra man advantage. Oudrhiri stepped on Navarro, referee Miguel Nogueira showing no hesitation in issuing a straight red card.

It didn’t take long for Sousa’s side to pull a goal back. Adrián Marín’s cross taking a touch off Josué Sá and the ball rebounding off Ronaldo who netted an unfortunate own goal.

Carvalho was playing a dangerous game, producing a late challenge on Costinha that saw the midfielder evade another second yellow card.

Substitutions start to flow

Sousa took no chances, Carraça and Carvalho making way for Zé Carlos and Giorgi Aburjania. Luís Freire was on damage limitation control, Josué Sá and Pereira coming off for Patrick William and Vítor Gomes.

Sávio replaced Ronaldo in the 69th minute as Freire continued to look for ways to evade the onslaught. Sousa emptied his bench in the 80th minute, introducing Bilel Aouacheria and Kevin Villodres for Pedro Tiba and Murilo de Souza.

Added time drama

Navarro couldn’t convert a number of chances before getting a golden opportunity to equalise in added time. Paulo Vitor, who had just replaced Graça, clumsily stepped on Villodres, Navarro stepping up and seeing his weak spot kick saved by Jhonatan.

Aouacheria thought he had been fouled inside the box but there were no more penalties in Vila do Conde, much to the relief of the home crowd who saw their side jump over Gil Vicente and occupy eighth position in the Primeira Liga.

By Matthew Marshall at Estádio dos Arcos