After nine straight fixtures of a top two mirroring act, complications away to Sporting de Braga has seen FC Porto change the scenery in the foot race for the title.

Benfica did their bit early ahead of the Easter weekend with a 3-0 win at home to Marítimo, with Sporting repeating their neighbours’ dosage when visiting Vitória de Setúbal, also on Friday night.

Porto were next on the agenda but, having gone a goal down and veering dangerously close to conceding a second to Braga, a 1-1 draw would be all the Dragons could get from the Estádio Municipal de Braga, subsequently falling three points behind league leaders Benfica.

 

With five rounds of matches to go in the Liga NOS, and despite Benfica leading from the front since round four, sports gamblers and punters such as visitors to 7Sultans casino online will still be splitting their bets regarding which way the title will go. For a fun gaming expierience visit 7Sultans casino online.

 

Benfica 3-0 Marítimo

Recent title-winning experience has been telling so far for the Eagles, with another win at home to Marítimo, the last team to defeat them in the league, pushing them a step closer to their ultimate objective for the season.

The hosts took immediate control of proceedings and almost forced their opponents into error in the 17th minute, with Raul Silva’s interception from Kostas Mitroglou’s cross requiring goalkeeper Charles to prevent the Brazilian’s own goal for the Madeiran outfit.

Marítimo’s Luís Martins wasn’t to be as fortunate, however, as another cross from the left by Rafa caused danger and was diverted towards goal, this time beating Charles and gifting Benfica a 1-0 lead.

Before the visitors could even blink, Jonas came back with the second for Rui Vitória’s men in the 36th minute, utilising the space afforded to him on the edge of the box to fire in a low strike into the back of the net.


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Mitroglou was given the chance to make it 3-0 before half-time, with Nélson Semedo flying down the wing to provide ammo for the striker, but the Greece international failed to get sufficient contact behind an outstretched leg.

Momentum continued to be on Benfica’s side right up until the referee’s half-time whistle, however, as Jonas hooked Luisão’s flick on towards goal from the back-post before slamming in the third of the evening from the subsequent rebound.

Marítimo’s taste for the wrong net stuck with them deep into the second period, this time Zainadine the culprit as his interception betrayed Charles and flew just wide of goal into the side-netting in the 81st minute.

Alhassane Keita was then in a prime position to claw back a consolation goal from Luís Martins’ cross, but a pristine control of the ball deceived the man set to execute the move, wrapping up a dismal evening for the mid-table club at the Estádio da Luz.

 

Vit. Setúbal 0-3 Sporting

Sporting aren’t short of enemies in the Primeira Liga, but Vitória de Setúbal can at least take pride in becoming one of the most recent of foes after the controversy that surrounded the Lions’ elimination of this year’s Taça da Liga.

Jorge Jesus’ men came armed with stellar league form, however, and by the 20th minute, Gelson Martins’ opener set the Lisbon outfit on its way to another formality.

Bruno César was on hand to pick out Bas Dost in the second period with a whipped cross, but Sporting’s talisman was unable to keep his first-time volley under the crossbar in the 51st minute.


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William Carvalho amplified the visitors’ lead with a header from Bruno César’s 55th minute set-piece, leaving Bruno Varela no chance.

The ex-Benfica goalkeeper was just as hopeless for the Green and Whites’ third goal of the night, supplemented by Alan Ruiz’s measured cross-field pass with the outside of the foot that was guided into the back of the net by none other than Dost for his 28th league goal.

Bryan Ruiz could’ve claimed Sporting’s fourth after being found inside the box by Daniel Podence’s disguised cross, but Varela did just enough to put the Costa Rican off and ensure the three-goal-mark wouldn’t be surpassed before the full-time whistle.

 

Sp. Braga 1-1 FC Porto

For Porto, this fixture takes them back to the point in which their bid for the league title took off, registering a hard-earned 1-0 win over Braga that formed part of a sequence of results that saw the northern outfit claim 14 league wins out of a possible 17.

Little care for the comeuppance was shown by the home side as early as the 5th minute, with winger Pedro Santos leaving the title hopefuls a goal down with a headed goal past Iker Casillas.

Tiquinho Soares fluffed his lines at the other end, doing everything well until the very moment he had to pull the trigger, as Matheus welcomed the Brazilian’s scuffed shot.


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Óliver Torres looked like he had plunged the Dragons into an even bigger conundrum when he was spotted handling the ball inside his own box, but Pedro Santos’ penalty miss on the brink of half-time handed Nuno Espírito Santo a lifeline.

Porto were fired back into the contest via Soares’ header in the 60th minute, as the Brazilian striker summed his 18th league goal of the season.

Danilo Pereira almost completed the turnaround in the 79th minute with a header directed at the far-post, whereas the defensive midfielder’s miscalculated effort in the 85th minute, totally unmarked, is sure to haunt him deep into next week.

Locked at 1-1, Porto’s hopes now rest with Sporting in next week’s Lisbon Derby, as they find themselves four points behind league leaders Benfica.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Primeira Liga Gameweek 29 Results

Boavista 0-0 P. Ferreira

Belenenses 1-3 Estoril

Benfica 3-0 Marítimo

Vit. Setúbal 0-3 Sporting

Chaves 2-3 Vit. Guimarães

Arouca 2-0 Feirense

Tondela 2-1 Rio Ave

Sp. Braga 1-1 FC Porto

 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Nacional vs. Moreirense

 

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

"When we lose, we all lose; when we win, we all win."

Rui Vitória
(Benfica coach defends midfielder Filipe Augusto, singled out for booing by the Benfica fans)

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