Benfica close in on title

By Chris Wright, in Sport · 02-05-2019 10:22:00 · 0 Comments
Benfica close in on title

Benfica moved two points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga following their victory at SC Braga whilst FC Porto were held to a draw at Rio Ave.

Sporting recorded their eighth successive win, as they overcame Vitória de Guimãraes, to virtually secure a third place finish and qualification for the Europa League next season.


Benfica found themselves a goal down after thirty-five minutes at Braga as Rúben Dias fouled Fransérgioin in the area and Wilson Eduardo duly converted the resulting penalty.


Fourteen minutes into the second-half and the Eagles were level as Pizzi slotted home a spot-kick after Ricardo Esgaio took down João Félix’s standing leg right under the referee’s nose.


Six minutes later Benfica got the third penalty of the game when the referee’s decision to call a close-range handball against Bruno Viana was hotly contested by the Arsenalistas. An aggrieved Braga were stunned when Rúben Dias headed home a third and the rout was completed as Rafa Silva took advantage of slack play by Pablo to make it 4-1.


FC Porto cruised into a two goal lead at Rio Ave through Otávio (18’) and a Moussa Marega deflected volley four minutes later. The Malian international should have made it three but hit his shot straight at Jardim.


It would prove to be a costly miss for Porto as Rio Ave pulled a goal back midway through the second-half through former Benfica Player Nuno Santos and then, with a minute of normal time remaining, a strike from Ronan deflected off Telles and over Casillas to level the scores at 2-2.


Sporting continued their fine form with a goal in each half against Vitória de Guimarães.


The first came in the thirty-ninth minute courtesy of a Raphinha strike that squeezed under a scrambling Miguel Silva despite complaints from Guimarães of a Marcos Acuña foul in the build-up.


The Lions doubled their lead just six minutes into the second period, with Luiz Phellype making it six goals in five with a near-post tap-in, courtesy of Raphinha’s assist.


SC Portimonense secured their Primeira Liga status with a hard fought home victory over bottom club Feirense.


The visitors were reduced to ten men when Tiago Gomes received his marching orders after half-an-hour and a few minutes later Bruno Tabata scored the only goal of the game.


Portimonense picked up a red card when Aylton Boa Morte was sent-off on the stroke of half-time.


This was an important victory as the Algarve team travel to Lisbon on Saturday to play Benfica before entertaining Marítimo at home a week later and a final game of the campaign away at SC Braga.



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