Albufeira boasts a street named after Sir Cliff Richard but this has been no summer holiday for Dundee.
The training has been tough and in the baking heat at the resort town’s Estadio Municipal, the Dark Blues yesterday faced a formidable, albeit friendly, foe in the form of Portuguese Primeira Liga side Portimonense.
The Dens men played some decent stuff, especially earlier in the game, but they were picked off by excellent finishing.
There was a nice gesture from Dark Blues boss Neil McCann before kick-off when he stepped into the section hosting the Dundee fans to have a chat with those who had made the trip to the Algarve.
The Dens men lined up with three centre-backs – Steven Caulker, Josh Meekings and Genseric Kusunga.
In a break with the norm, the game was played in three periods of 30 minutes.
Dundee, who were watched by their former manager Alex Rae, should have had a penalty on 11 minutes when striker Jean Mendy was impeded inside the Portimonense box but, sadly, there was no VAR to help him out.
Two minutes later, frontman Sofien Moussa did well to take the ball on his chest before blasting wide from outside the box.
Dundee were doing just fine against quality opposition and Elton Ngwatala had a looping header saved by keeper Ricardo Ferreira on 22 minutes.
On the half-hour, though, Portimonense took the lead when a well-worked move that was finished off by Andre Clovis.
Just seconds later, the first third came to an end and the players took on much-needed water.
Three minutes after the restart, Mendy burst forward for the Dark Blues but was upended right at the edge of the Portimomense box. Elton Ngwatala fired the freekick over.
There was a scare for Dundee on 37 minutes when Moussa stayed on the ground after a challenge and needed lengthy treatment for a head knock. The big Tunisian was replaced by Matty Henvey.
Henvey almost made a quick impact when he was picked out by a Mendy pass but the youngster could only fire wide from 10 yards.
The Dark Blues changed their goalkeeper on 46 minutes, with Elliott Parish taking over from Jack Hamilton.
Two minutes later, it was 2-0 to the Portuguese as they hit the Scots on the break.
Sub Shoya Nakajima raced up the left wing before playing the ball across the face of goal, where Emmanuel Hackman was waiting to score with a low shot.
It was three on 57 minutes and it was made in Japan. The lively Nakajima set up Yuta Koike, who gave Parish no chance with a fine strike.
The third section of the match was only a minute old when Portimomense made it 40 with a fine finish from Wellington, who was once again set up by Nakajima.
Dundee, who now had all their subs on with the exception of the injured Darren O’Dea, weren’t used to the hot conditions despite Scotland’s unusually sunny summer and needed the fresh legs.
With eight minutes to go, young Dundee sub Jack Lambert clipped a nice shot just a few inches over the Portimonense bar.
Just seconds later, Craig Wighton pulled a right-foot drive just inches past the post then Kharl Madianga headed over as the Scots kept battling away.
The last chance of the game fell, fittingly, to the impressive Nakajima but Parish did well to get down and hold his freekick.
Sadly, an hour or so after the Dundee coach had left to take them back to their training base news broke that legendary striker Alan Gilzean had died. The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the club quickly turned to the great man’s family and friends.
Portimonense SC: Ferreira, Tabata, Manafa, Costa, Nascimento, Macedo, Hebling, Fernandes, Clovis, Felipe.
Dundee: Starting side: Hamilton, Kerr, Ralph, Caulker, Kusunga, Kamara, Moussa, Ngwatala, Mendy, McGowan, Meekings. Subs used: Parish, Henvey, Trialist, Madianga, Wolters, Jefferies, Wighton, Lambert.
Referee: Rui Sa Lemos.