• Wednesday, 15 April 2009

    Superliga Round 24: Benfica fall further behind

    SC Braga 1-1 Maritimo
    Paços de Ferreira1 - 1 Vitoria Guimaraes
    Leixões 1 - 0 Rio Ave FC
    OS Belenenses 2 - 1 Vitoria Setubal
    Sporting CP 3 - 1 Naval
    Benfica 0 - 1 Academica de Coimbra
    FC Porto 3-0 Estrela Amadora
    CD Trofense 1 - 2 Nacional

    Its all gone Pete Tong for Quique Sanchez Flores and Benfica. Two defeats in their last five matches, including this humiliating home loss at home to Academica, have almost certainly ended their title challenge as they sit third, 8 points off leaders FC Porto. Here, a first half strike from Ghanaian midfielder William Tiero was enough to down O Glorioso, who, despite chances for Mantorras and Oscar Cardozo, could not score and completed a famous victory for the Coimbra side, who have now lost once in their last 5 and sit 9th.

    FC Porto experienced no such problems despite their well-publicised European excursions. With the second leg in mind, Jesualdo Ferreria rested a host of players for the visit of cash-strapped Amadora but the team suffered no ill effects, brushing aside the Lisbon side thanks to goals from Bruno Alves and Ernesto Farias (2), despite being without Fernando, Hulk and Lisandro Lopez. With 47 goals this campaign the Dragões are comfortably the top scorers in the league and it is this factor which may well see them collect a fourth straight crown.

    Sporting CP did their bit to keep the race interesting, beating Naval on sunday to keep the gap up top at four points. Pereirinha gave Paolo Bento's side an early lead only to have it cancelled out by the visitors' Brazillian striker Marcelinho (his fifth of the season). Liedson, predictably, was the man to the rescue as he scored a goal in each half to condemn Naval to their third defeat in four matches. Liedson is currently being linked with the Portuguese national team having become eligible and the way things are going the embattled Carlos Quieroz could do a lot worse.

    Elsewhere, Belenenses scored a priceless win in their battle to avoid relegation, defeating fellow strugglers Setubal 2-1 thanks to two early strikes from Saulo. Trofense replace them in the bottom two after losing at home to Nacional - the Madeirans would be nowhere this season without the goals of Nene - he scored his 16th and 17th of the season here. Rio Ave remain bottom after losing at Leixões, who leapfrog Maritimo (who drew at Braga) into sixth. Pacos scored a valuable point as they drew with Vitoria Guimaraes, thanks to Cristiano's 77th minute leveller.

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