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liga news - 2008

footballportugal

31/12/08

Website Maisfutebol reports that the Portuguese Liga has the worst goal average per game in Europe: 2.09. The best is Holland with 3.10.

As 2008 comes to an end, Benfica are top of the Liga for this first time in 13 years (at this stage of the season) ... but they are bottom of the Liga Fair-Play, headed by Vitória de Setúbal.

The standings:

1 Vitória de Setúbal
2 Marítimo
3 Académica
4 Sporting
5 Naval
6 Trofense
7 Nacional
= Sporting Braga
9 F.C. Porto
10 Estrela da Amadora
11 Leixões
12 Paços de Ferreira
13 Rio Ave
14 Vitória de Guimarães
15 Belenenses
16 Benfica

23/12/08

It was a weekend of very few goals in the Liga – just ten, with five of them coming in one game (Belenenses 3-2 Trofense).

The Big Three of Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting all drew 0-0 at home to Nacional, Marítimo and Académica, respectively.

On Monday, Benfica drew 0-0 at home to Nacional. It was the Madeiran side that exhibited the most coherent football throughout, but it was Benfica who had the ball in the net in the dying minutes, Cardozo's 'goal' disallowed for handball by Miguel Vítor, who was on the ground at the time. Nacional's Alonso was sent off for a second yellow ten minutes from time, while Benfica's Nuno Gomes was sent off after the game by referee Pedro Henriques, for words allegedly directed at him in the tunnel after the game. Nuno Gomes has subsequently been suspended for two games, while Benfica have threatened to press criminal charges against the match officials.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Moreira, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Sidnei (Miguel Vítor 29), Jorge Ribeiro, Yebda, Katsouranis, Ruben Amorim (Urreta 83), Di Maria (Nuno Gomes 69), Cardozo, Suazo

Nacional: Bracalli, Patacas, Felipe Lopes, Halliche, Alonso, Cleber, Edson (Juninho 70), Ruben Micael (Igor Pita 76), Luís Alberto, Nené, Mateus (Nuno Pinto 80)

An impressive Marítimo held FC Porto to a 0-0 draw at the Dragão on Sunday. In fact, they might have got more if the referee had seen a handball by Bruno Alves (which would have given a penalty) following a cross.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Fucile, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel (Mariano 67), Fernando, Raul Meireles (Farias 85), Lucho González, Rodriguez, Hulk, Lisandro López.

Marítimo: Marcos, Briguel, João Guilherme, Fernando Cardozo, Van der Linden, Bruno, Olberdam, Marcinho (Vítor Júnior 77), Bruno Fogaça (Djalma 46), Miguelito, Baba (Manu 86).

On Saturday, Sporting conceded a 0-0 draw to visitors Académica, whose 'keeper Peskovic was the Man of the Match with a series of fine saves.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Carriço, Polga, Caneira (Miguel Veloso, 46), Rochemback, Moutinho, Izmailov (Djaló, 77), Romagnoli (Vukcevic, 65), Liedson e Postiga.

Académica de Coimbra: Peskovic, Pedrinho, Luiz Nunes, Orlando, Pedro Costa, Pavlovic, Cris, Diogo (Tiero, 73), Miguel Pedro (Nuno Piloto, 83), Éder e Lito (Lica, 69).

Leixões could not take advantage of their rivals' falter, their 1-1 draw at home to Estrela da Amadora leaving them in second on 24 points, the same as FC Porto. Wesley put Leixões in front on the hour, but Celestino equalised from the spot ten minutes from time. Leixões are two points behind Benficaand one ahead of Sporting. Nacional move into the last UEFA Cup spot after their point at the Luz.

A goal be Colombian strike Renteria 15 minutes from tie gave Sporting Braga a 1-0 win over Rio Ave at home, lifting them to sixth, a point behind Nacional.

Paços de Ferreira put a little light between them and the bottom places with a 2-0 win at home to Vitória de Setúbal, now hovering above the drop zone. The game was won within the first ten minutes through Cristiano and Pedrinha, but Paços were down to ten men for an hour after Ricardo was sent off. Vitória were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority, however.

In the bottom of the table clash, Belenenses were two down to 'red lantern' Trofense, Edu Souza and Valdomiro doing the damage. But the Blue turned the game around (3-2) with three goals in a twenty-minute spell in the second half through Marcelo, Wender and Gabriel . Belenenses remain second from bottom, though.

20/12/08

In front of just 1,356 spectators, Naval and Vitória de Guimarães, who came nearest to scoring with a shot hitting the bar in the second half, ground out a 0-0 draw on Friday which keeps them both in mid-table.

The teams lined up:

Naval: Peiser, Carlitos, Paulão, Diego, Daniel Cruz, Alex Hauw (Gilmar 91), Godeméche, Bolívia, Dudu (Davide 82), Marcelinho, Marinho (Simplício 65).

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Lionn, Gregory, Moreno, Momba, Flávio Meireles, João Alves, Luís Filipe (Marquinho 68), Nuno Assis (Wênio 91), Desmarets, Roberto (Fajardo 82).

18/12/08

FC Porto visited cash-strapped Estrela da Amadora (the players had called off a strike on the morning of the game) on Tuesday in a Liga game from the ninth jornada, postponed at the time. They were not in a sympathetic mood and came away with all three points from a 4-2 win, Estrela's fourth successive defeat. Lisandro put them in front on 11 minutes, heading home a cross by Fucile. On 27 minutes, the same Fucile was the villain at the other end, clearing against Moreno's shin, the ball ballooning back across goal, over Hélton and in. But then Fucile made amends in added time with a corner that Cristian Rodriguez headed home.

Estrela were back on level terms on the hour, Vidigal crashing home a header from Celestino's free kick, but a minute later, Hulk guided in a magnificent shot from outside the area to give Porto the upper hand once more. This time there was no coming back for Estrela, Cristian Rodriguez getting his second from a free-kick on 83 minutes after Hugo Carreira had handled and was sent off. The result puts Porto third, level with Leixões and two points behind Benfica.

The teams lined up:

Estrela da Amadora: Nelson, Hugo Gomes, Mustafá (Ndiaye 21), Hugo Carreira, Moreno, Fernando Alexandre, Vidigal, Marcelo Goianira, Celestino, Silvestre Varela, Anselmo (Rui Varela 72).

FC Porto: Helton, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel (Tomás Costa 92), Fucile, Fernando, Raul Meireles (Guarin 84), Lucho Gonzalez, Cristian Rodriguez, Lisandro, Hulk (Mariano Gonzalez 87).

09/12/08

Leixões dropped off top spot on Monday after a 0-1 defeat in front of 20,000 at Vitória de Guimarães. A late goal from Fajardo gave Vitória their first home win of the season and allowed Benfica to take top spot from Leixões.

Trofense managed to keep Braga at bay at home and secured a valuable point in a 0-0 draw.

08/12/08

Before the match between Marítimo and Benfica on Sunday, Marítimo had the best defensive record in the Liga; not any more. Sixteen minutes in, Marítimo goalkeeper Marcos flattened David Suazo, through on goal. Marcos was sent off and Reyes scored from the spot, setting Benfica up for their biggest win of the season, and indeed their biggest away win for 34 years: 6-0. David Suazo made it two before the break, but Marítimo kept the scoreline reasonable until the 66th minutes, Luisão making it three. By this time, Benfica's forwards were going through the Marítimo defence like a knife through butter, and in a five-minute flurry at the end of the game, Suazo with another and Nuno Gomes , on as sub, with two made it six. The result puts Benfica provisionally top, with Leixões visiting Vitória de Guimarães on Monday.

The teams lined up:

Marítimo: Marcos, Paulo Jorge, Fernando Cardozo, Antoine van der Linden, João Guilherme, Miguelito, Olberdam, Bruno (João Luíz 66), Marcinho, Djalma (Baba 58), Manú (Bruno Grassi 19).

Benfica: Moreira, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Sidnei, David Luiz, Binya (Yebda 58), Katsouranis, Ruben Amorim (Balboa 68), Reyes, Aimar (Nuno Gomes 80), Suazo.

Other big away wins for Benfica (source Maisfutebol):

1973/74: Olhanense-Benfica, 1-7
1966/67: Beira Mar-Benfica, 0-9
1965/66: Barreirense-Benfica, 1-7
1964/65: Belenenses-Benfica, 0-6
1950/51: Estoril-Benfica, 0-7
1936/37: Leixões-Benfica, 0-6

A goal in each half from Semedo and Livramento gave Rio Ave a rare win, 2-0 at home to Naval, taking them out of the relegation zone.

07/12/08

FC Porto kept pace with their Big Three rivals Sporting and Benfica on Saturday with a 3-0 win at Vitória de Setúbal. Vitória held out until the 65th minutes, but were then destroyed in a fifteen-minute spell by lethal finishing from Porto. Bruno Alves headed in a corner on 65, Guarín was fed by Hulk on 68 to slot the ball in after two bites of the cherry, and Mariano cut the ball back for Lucho González to volley home on 79. The result puts Porto in fourth, two points behind Sporting and Benfica and three behind Leixões.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Pedro Alves, Janício, Anderson, Robson, Cissokho, Hugo (Carrijo 69), Ricardo Chaves, Leandro Lima, Mateus, Bruno Gama (Leandro 57), Laionel (Elias 69).

FC Porto: Helton, Fucile, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Lino, Fernando, Tomás Costa (Guarín 57), Lucho, Rodríguez (Mariano 78), Hulk (Tarik 82), Lisandro.

Nacional won an eventful game at home to Belenenses. They were 2-0 up within 40 minutes through top scorer Nenê, but then after the break, Belenenses got their act together and drew level through Silas and Marcelo, on 59 and 82 minutes, respectively. But Nacional regained the lead through Mateus on 83 minutes, and Cléber finished off the scoring two minutes from time to give Nacional a 4-2 win. On 75 minutes, Nacional's Fabiano Oliveira saw a direct red, then on 85, Belenenses' Alex von Schewedler saw a second yellow; the total for the night was nine yellows and two reds.

Académica beat an improving Paços de Ferreira 2-1 with goals from Lito and Orlando. The Liga top scorer William had equalised for Paços on the hour.

06/12/08

Sporting moved provisionally into third place in the Liga on Friday, a point behind leaders Leixões, with a 3-1 win away at Estrela da Amadora. Estrela moved in front in an even first half through Anselmo on six minutes (he could have made it two later but hit the post when it was easier to score) after Rui Patrício could only parry a cross by ex-Sportinguista Varela. It took Sporting just three minutes to draw level, Izmailov given time to slot home a pass by João Moutinho. Sporting had the upper hand throughout most of the second half and took the lead on 51 minutes through Liedson, who looked suspiciously offside before heading home a Rochemback cross from the right. Vukcevic came on as sub a quarter of an hour from the end, seemingly putting an end to the internal feud between him and coach Paulo Bento, and scored with his third touch of the ball. It was Estrela's first home defeat of the season; they are currently 10th on 11 points.

The teams lined up:

Estrela da Amadora: Nelson, Hugo Gomes, Hugo Carreira, Nuno André Coelho, Moreno, Luís Vidigal, Alexandre (Celsinho 63), Celestino, N'Diaye (Jardel 75), Silvestre Varela, Anselmo.

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Bruno Pereirinha, Daniel Carriço, Anderson Polga, Grimi (Marco Caneira 24), Miguel Veloso, Rochemback, João Moutinho, Izmailov (Pedro Silva 80), Liedson e Hélder Postiga (Vukevic 75).

 

29/11/08

It took top club Leixões 73 minutes to take the lead on Friday against Naval, José Manuel scoring on a counter attack, but Michel Simplício's shot from outside the area was deflected past Beto in the 91st minute. Leixões have never beaten Naval, and now they can be overtaken by Benfica if the latter beat Vitória de Setúbal at the weekend.

The teams lined up:

Leixões: Beto, Vasco Fernandes, Joel, Élvis, Laranjeiro, Bruno China, Roberto Sousa, Hugo Morais (Zé Manuel 67), Wesley (Marques 83), Braga, Diogo Valente (Chumbinho 67).

Naval 1º de Maio: Peiser, Carlitos, Paulão, Diego Ângelo, Daniel Cruz, Bruno Lazaroni (Baradji 62), Godeméche, Alex, Davide (Michel Simplício 74), Bolívia (Marcelinho 46), Marinho.

25/11/08

Vitória de Setúbal returned to victories on Monday after four straight defeats. Central defender Anderson do Ó got the first against Belenenses with a direct free kick on 49 minutes, while Elias pounced on a poor pass by Silas to make the result safe in added time.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Pedro Alves, Janício, Robson, Anderson, Cissokho, Sandro, Ricardo Chaves (Danilo 79), Leandro Lima (Leandro Branco 61), Bruno Gama, Mateus (Elias 65), Laionel.

Belenenses: Júlio César, Cândido Costa (João Paulo 45), Alex (Porta 79), Carciano, China, Gabriel Gómez (Maikon 63), Mano, Zé Pedro, Vinícius, Roncatto, Silas

24/11/08

Benfica kept in touch with Leixões at the top of the Liga on Sunday, beating Académica 2-0 in front of 19,000 in Coimbra. Ruben Amorim, fed by Nuno Gomes, broke the deadlock on 31 minutes. Two minutes into the second half, Pavlovic fouled Reyes in the area and Cardozo scored from the spot.

The teams lined up:

Académica: Peskovic, Pedrinho, Orlando, Luiz Nunes, Edson, Pavlovic (Carlos Aguiar 60), Nuno Piloto, Miguel Pedro, Lito (Éder 60), Garcés, Sougou (Madej 75).

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Sidnei, David Luiz, Ruben Amorim (Jorge Ribeiro 80), Binya, Yebda, Reyes (Balboa 86), Cardozo (Suazo 61), Nuno Gomes.

Nacional climbed to third in the Liga with a 1-0 win over Trofense, still rooted at the bottom with just four points. The Madeiran side played 75 minutes with ten men after Juninho was sent off, but Luís Alberto from a corner on 22 minutes guaranteed them the points.

The teams lined up:

Nacional: Rafael Bracalli, Patacas, Felipe Lopes, Alonso, Rúben Micael (Cléber 45), Nenê (Miguel Fidalgo 92), Fabiano Oliveira (Bruno Amaro 71), Juninho, Edson Sitta, Maicon, Luís Alberto.

Trofense: Paulo Lopes, Valdomiro, Delfim (Edú Souza 55), Hélder Barbosa, Lipatin, Tiago Pinto, Milton do Ó, Zamorano, Miguel Ângelo, Mércio (Hugo Leal 31), David Caiado (Rui Borges 55).

Vitória de Guimarães could only draw 0-0 at home to penultimate club Paços de Ferreira. Vitória's central defender Moreno was sent off on 77 minutes

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Gregory, Moreno, Mohma, João Alves, Flávio (Carlitos 60), Desmarets, Fajardo (Marquinho 45), Nuno Assis (Luciano Amaral 80), Roberto

Paços de Ferreira: Cássio, Chico Silva, Ozeia, Paulo Sousa, Edson (Cristiano 64), Pedrinha, William, Leandro Tatu (Ferreira 88), Ricardo, Dedé (Filipe Gonçalves 80), Filipe Anunciação

23/11/08

A single goal from Liedson from a counter-attack on 14 minutes was enough for Sporting to come away from Figueira da Foz on Saturday with all three points from their Liga tussle with Naval. Naval had a great chance to draw level on 24 minutes but Lazaroni's weak penalty after a Caneira hand-ball was saved easily by Rui Patrício. The Lisbon giants had their backs to the wall for most of the second half after first Derlei, for a nasty foul on Hauw on 54 minutes, and then Marco Caneira, for a second yellow on 66, both saw reds.

The teams lined up:

Naval 1.º Maio: Peiser, Carlitos (Baradji 74), Paulão, Daniel (Marcelinho 59), Diego, Lazaroni, Hauw, Davide (Dudu 59), Bolívia, Marinho, Simplício.

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Adrien Silva 73), Daniel Carriço, Anderson Polga, Marco Caneira, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Marat Izmailov, Hélder Postiga (Bruno Pereirinha 64), Liedson, Derlei.

Sporting move into third, six points behind Leixões, while Naval are stuck in mid table on 11 points.

Marítimo and Sporting Braga drew a poor 0-0 in Madeira, both sides with goals disallowed. Marítimo drop to fourth, two points ahead of Braga in seventh.

22/11/08

A close-range header from Wesley on 35 minutes put Leixões in front at Rio Ave on Friday in the opening game of the ninth jornada. Eight minutes later, it was Rogério Matias who popped up to equalise for the home side. But Bruno China prodded home at the back post from a corner to keep Leixões sitting proudly at the top of the Liga.

The teams lined up:

Rio Ave: Paiva, Miguel Lopes, Bruno Mendes, Gaspar, Rogério Matias (Niquinha), André Vilas Boas (Semedo), Tarantini (Mateus), Delson, Evandro, Chidi, Ronaldo.

Leixões: Beto, Vasco Fernandes, Élvis, Joel, Laranjeiro, Roberto Sousa, Bruno China, Hugo Morais; Braga (Chumbinho), Diogo Valente (Zé Manuel), Wesley (Sandro).

Leixões remain top, four points ahead of Benfica, who play on Sunday. Rio Ave are hovering above the relegation zone in 13th.

18/11/08

Belenenses got their first win of the season on Monday, beating Académica at home 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored on 15 minutes, Vinicius put through by José Pedro. The result takes Belenenses off the bottom into 13th, two points behind Académica.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Júlio César, Cândido Costa, Carciano, Alex, Mano, Vinicius, Gomez, José Pedro; Silas (Maikon 86), Roncatto (Porta 75), Wender (Organista 65).

Académica: Pescovic, Berger, Orlando, Nunes, Edson, Tiero (Pavlovic 46), Licá (Miguel Pedro 54), Cris; Éder (Sougou 64), Nuno Piloto, Garcês.

17/11/08

Coach Lázaro Oliveira saw his Estrela da Amadora side lose 1-0 at Benfica, Nuno Gomes laying off a ball for centre back Sidnei to score from the edge of the box on 51 minutes. It was an uninspiring performance from Benfica, but the three points are vital to keep in touch with leaders Leixões. More satisfyingly perhaps for Benfiquistas, they remain four points ahead of FC Porto and are now five above Sporting.

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Sidnei, Jorge Ribeiro, Katsouranis, Yebda, Carlos Martins (Binya, 80 m) , Pablo Aimar (Cardozo, 85 m) , David Suazo, Nuno Gomes (Reyes, 64 m).

Estrela da Amadora: Hugo Gomes, Mustafa, Nuno Coelho, Vítor Moreno, Fernando Alexandre, Celestino (Teti 64), Luis Vidigal, Jardel (P. Pereira 87), N'Diaye (Anselmo 77), Varela, Nélson.

A solitary goal by Cameroonian striker Meyong on the half hour maintained Sporting Braga's unbeaten two-month run in the Liga at home to Vitória de Setúbal. Braga climb to seventh

The teams lined up:

Sporting Braga: Eduardo, João Pereira, Moisés, Frechaut, Evaldo, Vandinho, Alan, César Peixoto, Mossoró (Matheus 75), Rentería (Linz 70), Meyong (Paulo César 85) Vitória de Setúbal: Pedro Alves, Janício, Robson, Anderson, Cissokho, Sandro (Mateus 83), Elias (Saleiro 63), Ricardo Chaves, Leandro Lima, Bruno Gama, Leandro Branco (Laionel 70)

Bolivia put Naval in front on 16 minutes on their trip to Paços de Ferreira, but Paulo Sousa equalised with a speculative shot from 30 metres on 42 minutes. In added time just before the break, William slotted home his eighth goal of the season (he is the Liga's top scorer) to give Paços their first win of this campaign so far.

Nacional drew 0-0 at home to Rio Ave and are in fifth place, on the same points as Madeiran rivals Marítimo.

16/11/08

Leixões clung on to top spot until at least the next jornada by beating Sporting 1-0 at Alvalade on Saturday. In a game in which Sporting had 70% of possession and in which goalkeeper Beto was the visitors' key player with a number of exceptional saves, it took a single strike on 65 minutes by Roberto Sousa from just outside the area to separate the teams. But they are now separated by six points in the Liga, with Leixões top on 19 and Sporting in 5th (they could drop lower still this weekend). It was Leixões' fourth win away from home, and coach José Mota was radiant: "Once again, these players have shown how much you can do with few resources."

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Polga, Daniel Carriço (Yannick Djaló 73), Miguel Veloso, Rochemback (Pedro Silva 35) (Grimi 44), Moutinho, Izmailov, Romagnoli, Postiga, Liedson

Leixões: Beto, Vasco Fernandes, Joel, Élvis, Laranjeiro, Bruno China, Roberto Sousa, Hugo Morais, Diogo Valente (Zé Manel 74), Braga (Sandro 90), Wesley (Nwoko 87)

Champions FC Porto had a surprisingly easy time of things at home to a pale Vitória de Guimarães, who had just five shots on goal all game. It was 2-0 but could have been more, if Porto's strikers had been more precise, had not slipped into offside positions so often, and if Nilson had not been there to make a number of vital saves of potential goals. Porto left it until the second half to break the deadlock, Lisandro Lopez heading his 50th goal for the club on 66 minutes. Farias made it safe two minutes from time, put clear in front of goal by Lisandro. Porto move into third, five behind Leixões. Vitória are 10th with a very disappointing nine points.

The teams lined up:

F.C. Porto: Helton, Sapunaru (Lino 67), Rolando, Bruno Alves, Fucile (Pelé 89), Fernando, Raul Meireles, Lucho, Sektioui (Farías 46), Lisandro, Rodríguez

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Moreno, Gregory, Momha, Flávio Meireles, João Alves (Jean Coral 81), Fajardo (Carlitos 69), Desmarets, Nuno Assis, Douglas (Roberto 55)

15/11/08

Improving Marítimo moved into third in the Liga Friday, beating also improving Trofense 2-0 in the opening game of the 8th jornada. The goals came in a ten-minute period in the second half, Marcinho passing for Djalma to get the first, Djalma passing for Olberdam to get the second.

04/11/08

A goal by Baba after just one minute set Marítimo off on a victory over local Madeiran rivals Nacional, who had a chance to go equal top with Leixões if they had won. Djalma and Marcinho made it three for the home side by the hour mark, and it looked like it was going to be a stroll. But Nacional came fighting back, and Filipe Lopes on 67 and Nenê on 82 put them within sight of at least a point. Then three minutes from time, the Nacional captain Patacas (allegedly) brought down Vítor Júnior in the box and Marítimo's captain Bruno made the three points safe from the spot, the 4-2 result leaving Nacional fourth, three points off the pace, and Marítimo seventh, two points behind their neighbours.

[Correction: Benfica's 5,000th league goal was scored by Suazo, and not Sidnei, as reported below]

03/11/08

Leixões remain top of the table after beating bottom club Paços de Ferreira 2-1 at home on Sunday. Wesley from the spot on 27 minutes and Diogo Valente on 31 put them in the driving seat, with William pulling one back, also from the spot, ten minutes from time.

Benfica overtook their main rivals at the top of the table to go second after a 2-1 win at Vitória de Guimarães. They were dominant early on, Suazo and Sidnei scoring in a three-minute period midway through the first half. But then just before the break, Douglas pulled one back and Reyes was sent off for a second yellow, leaving the game in the balance. The second half saw Benfica defending for their lives, and it worked, Vitória unable to break the wall down. The result leaves Benfica second in the table, a point behind Leixões.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Danilo (Mohma 46), Gregory, Luciano Amaral, Flávio Meireles (Nuno Assis 46), Wénio, João Alves, Desmarets (Luís Filipe 59), Roberto, Douglas

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Sidnei, Jorge Ribeiro, Ruben Amorim (Binya 85), Yebda, Katsouranis, Reyes, Aimar (Carlos Martins 69), Suazo (Cardozo 77)

Sidnei's goal was Benfica's 5,000th in the league.

Belenenses midfielder Wender headed in from a corner on 15 minutes but was later sent off at Estrela da Amadora. Varela equalised for Estrela five minutes from half-time with a neat overhead kick. The 1-1 scoreline remained until the end, with Anselmo joining Wender on the red-card list on the stroke of time.

Pedrinho put Académica in front following a cross from Cléber at home to Sporting Braga, Meyong equalising on the hour from a cross by Renteria.

02/11/08

Sporting brought all three points back from Rio Ave, a goal by Liedson on 40 minutes following a mistake by Bruno Mendes separating the teams. Sporting's Derlei was sent off on 77 minutes after a second yellow.

They lined up:

Rio Ave: Paiva, Miguel Lopes, Gaspar, Bruno Mendes, Sílvio, André Vilas Boas (Tarantini 68), Livramento, Evandro, Niquinha (Mateus 75), Chidi, Semedo (Ronaldo 72).

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Pedro Silva, Caneira, Polga, Grimi, Rochemback, João Moutinho, Izmailov (Bruno Pereirinha 90), Romagnoli (Miguel Veloso 59), Derlei, Liedson.

A lacklustre FC Porto suffered their third successive defeat (second in the Liga), going down 0-1 at impressive Naval. Daniel cut in from the left on 54 minutes and squeezed a shot inside Nuno's near post to give the side from Figueira da Foz their first ever victory over Porto.

The teams lined up:

Naval: Peiser, Carlitos, Paulão, Diego Ângelo, Daniel (Godemeche 59), Lazaroni, Baradji, Alex, Davide (Michel 77), Bolívia, Marinho

F.C. Porto: Nuno, Sapunaru, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Benítez (Hulk 46), Fernando, Raul Meireles, Tomás Costa (Pelé 71), Lucho, Rodríguez (Tarik 59), Lisandro

01/11/08

Trofense notched up their first victory ever in the top flight on Friday, winning 2-0 at Vitória de Setúbal. The bottom club had three chances on goal and scored from two of them. Valdomiro bundled in a scrappy goal from a corner on 19 minutes, and Pinheiro confirmed the result five minutes from time with a penalty.

It was Vitória's third straight defeat, and there were protests by fans after the game against coach Daúto Faquirá.

 

27/10/08

Sporting Braga trampolined from their superb win over Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup last Thursday to a resounding 5-0 thrashing of candidates for the top spot Estrela da Amadora on Monday. Estrela's Hugo Gomes began the rout, putting through his own goal on 24 minutes, but it was not until just before half time that it began to take shape through Meyong. Rodriguez and Mossoró in quick succession on 63/64 made it four before Luís Aguiar put the cherry on the cake in added time.

The teams lined up:

Sporting de Braga: Eduardo, João Pereira, Moisés, Rodriguez, Evaldo, Luís Aguiar, Vandinho (Stélvio 84), Matheus (Mossoró 60), Alan (Jorginho 68), Meyong, Renteria.

Estrela: Nelson, Moreno, Nuno Coelho, Mustafa, Hugo Gomes, Goianira (Rui Varela 60), Vidigal, Celestino, Varela, Celsinho (Ndiaye 46), Teti (Alexandre 70)

27/10/08

Benfica beat difficult Naval 2-1 in front of 45,000 at the Luz on Sunday. They were up on 71 minutes through Luisão, heading in from a Carlos Martins free-kick way out on the left. Then from a cross on the right, Marcelinho popped up unmarked at the back post to bundle in the equaliser with his knee on 83 minutes. Naval's delight lasted just three minutes, sub Cardozo diving to head the winner

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Sidnei, Jorge Ribeiro, Yebda (Katsouranis 68), Carlos Martins, Ruben Amorim (Di Maria 55), Reyes, Nuno Gomes, Suazo (Cardozo 66).

Naval 1º de Maio: Peiser, Carlitos, Paulão, Diego (Fabrício 67), Dudu, Bruno Lazaroni, Baradji, Alex, Davide (Marinho 58), Bolívia (Michel 76), Marcelinho.

Sporting are in fifth after their third straight game without a win. They drew 0-0 at Paços de Ferreira in a match that had more huff-and-puff than beautiful football. Sporting had their chances, notably through Postiga, and Paços theirs through William, but neither side deserved to come away with three points. And Paços have only two from a possible 12.

The teams lined up:

Paços De Ferreira: Cássio; Ricardo, Kiko, Kelly, Ozéia, Rui Miguel (Pedrinha 79m), Filipe Anunciação, Paulo Sousa, Edson (Leandro Tatu 46), William, Cristiano (Chico Silva 84).

Sporting: Rui Patrício. Abel (Derlei 71), Tonel (Daniel Carriço 71), Polga. Grimi. João Moutinho, Rochemback, Romagnoli (Pereirinha 46). Izmailov. Liedson. Hélder Postiga.

A penalty separated the teams as Nacional beat Vitória de Setúbal in Madeira to go top of the Liga; Nené put the spot kick away on 76 minutes after Auri had handled.

Meanwhile, down the hill, Nacional's neighbours Marítimo were drawing 1-1 with Rio Ave, who took the lead fifteen minutes from time, Niquinha shooting home a loose ball. Marítimo saved a point three minutes from time, although the Rio Ave 'keeper Paiva appeared to have been fouled before Baba netted.

Nacional are equal top with Leixões, both on 13 points, followed by Benfica on 12, Porto on 11 and Sporting on ten. Estrela da Amadora, also on ten, can join Nacional and Leixões at the top if they beat Sporting Braga on Monday. Trofense are rock bottom with just one point, while Paços de Ferreira hover just above them with two. Belenenses have three.

26/10/08

FC Porto were toppled off their Liga perch on Saturday by modest Leixões, who took over top spot in the process. In a thrilling game in front of 37,400 at the Dragão, the 'minnows' from Matosinhos were two up within half an hour through Bruno China and Braga. But then Lucho González scored from the spot on 36 minutes (foul by Joel on Hulk) and Lisandro López equalised on the hour. Leixões sub Zé Manuel had a perfectly good goal scandalously disallowed for a non-existent offside before Braga got his second of the game with a perfect drive from outside the box that swung away from Nuno's right hand. There were some white handkerchiefs waved in the crowd at the end, signalling Porto fans' dissatisfaction with an uneven start to the season.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Nuno, Sapunaru (Mariano 64), Rolando, Bruno Alves, Lino (Candeias 32), Raul Meireles, Tomás Costa, Lucho, Hulk, Lisandro, Rodriguez (Farías 75)

Leixões: Beto, Vasco Fernandes, Joel, Elvis, Laranjeiro, Bruno China, Hugo Morais, Roberto Sousa, Braga (Sandro 88), Diogo Valente (Zé Manel 62), Marques (Roberto 72)

In the other game on Saturday, Belenenses drew 1-1 with Vitória de Guimarães in coach Jaime Pacheco's first league game in charge of the Lisbon club. Belenenses midfielder José Pedro scored twice: he headed through his own goal on the half hour from a Vitória free kick on the right, and scored from the spot on 77 minutes after Gregory had brought down Roncatto.

On Friday, Trofense got their first point of the season in an uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to Académica.

08/10/08

Defender Auri let in Marcinho for the first goal and Manú got the second near the end as Marítimo won at Vitória de Setúbal. After the 2-5 thrashing in the week against Hereenven in the UEFA Cup, Vitória coach Daúto Faquirá saw white handkerchiefs from disgruntled fans at the end of this game.

07/10/08

Benfica dropped two points at Leixões on Monday, drawing 1-1. Benfica Coach Quique Flores admitted that his team had not played well against the impressive northeners, but were a goal up on 33 minutes, Katsouranis feeding Cardozo who lashed a shot home with his right foot. But two minutes from time, that man again Wesley headed home from a corner to give Leixões the very least they deserved.

The teams lined up:

Leixões: Beto, Vasco Fernandes, Nuno Silva, Élvis, Laranjeiro, Bruno China, Roberto Sousa, Hugo Morais, Wesley, Braga, Marques. Also: Paulo Tavares, Diogo Valente, Zé Manuel.

Benfica: Quim, Miguel Vítor, Luisão, Sidnei, Jorge Ribeiro, Carlos Martins, Yebda, Katsouranis e Reyes; Nuno Gomes, Cardozo. Also: Ruben Amorim, Binya, Di María

Vitória de Guimarães and Sporting Braga battled out a typically hard-fought 0-0 draw in the Minho derby, Vitória 'keeper Nílson starring..

06/10/08

FC Porto went clear top of the Liga on Sunday after beating Sporting 2-1 at Alvalade. Sporting were a little disorganised in the first half, with coach Paulo Bent playing Yannick in place of Romagnoli as the playmaker. It didn't work, and on 18 minutes Porto were in front: Tomás Costa won the ball from Grimi on the right, his cross was hit goalwards by Raul Meireles but was blocked, and Lisandro López was on hand to hit the ball coolly home. Ten minutes later Sporting were level; João Moutinho was fouled in the area by Tomás Costa and got up to stroke the ball past Nuno from the spot. But just three minutes after that, Porto were back in front, centre back Bruno Alves placing a free kick to the left of Rui Patrício, who might have got to it if he'd really tried.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Romagnoli 66), Tonel, Polga, Grimi (Pereirinha 46), Miguel Veloso, Rochemback, João Moutinho, Djaló, Derlei, Hélder Postiga (Liedson 66)

F.C. Porto: Nuno, Sapunaru, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Fernando, Lucho González (Guarin 83), Raul Meireles, Tomás Costa (Mariano Gonzalez 58), Lisandro Lopez, Cristian Rodriguez (Hulk 73)

Nacional remain second, despite dropping two points at Académica. Nenê gave the Madeiran side the advantage on 23 minutes, but Nuno Piloto ensured Os Estudantes a point seven minutes from time.

A goal from N'Diaye on 62 minutes gave Estrela da Amadora all three points against Trofense, who have yet to secure a single one. The result puts Estrela provisionally third. Trofense are, naturally, rock bottom.

Rio Ave beat Paços de Ferreira 3-2 in a thrilling game in Vila do Conde. Central defender Gaspar put them in front with a header on 33 minutes, but Paços were ahead within the hour with goals from Cristiano, a cracker from a free kick, and William from the spot, his fifth goal of the season. But in four minutes midway through the second half, Rio Ave grabbed the points, Mateus, on as sub, and Chidi on target.

05/10/08

Naval missed the chance to go top of the Liga on Saturday, drawing 1-1 at home to struggling Belenenses. Baradji had given the hosts the lead on 71 minutes, but they let Richard Porta snap up a rebound from a José Pedro shot in added time to say goodbye to two points. The result leaves Belenenses third from bottom, and their coach Casemiro Mior lives to fight another day ... just.

 

30/09/08

Leixões surprisingly went top of the Liga on Monday, along with Nacional and Sporting, beating Belenenses away with a goal from Braga on 74 minutes. The result leaves Belenenses second from bottom and in crisis, with coach Casemiro Mior's job on the line after just one point from four games.

29/09/08

Luís Vidigal, making his début for Estrela da Amadora on Sunday after his return from Italy, scored the two goals that prevented Nacional from going top of the table. Alonso missed a penalty for the Madeiran side, and a late goal from Nené was not enough.

Also in Madeira, Marítimo beat visitors Académica 2-0 with a goal from Marcinho just before half time and another from Djalma on the stroke of time. It was Marítimo's first goals in this campaign.

Vitória de Guimarães sentenced Trofense to their fourth straight defeat. Goals by Douglas on 33 minutes and Luciano Amaral on 34 set Vitória on the road, with Lipatin pulling one back on 82. Then on the stroke of time, Douglas got his second to confirm Guimarães' superiority.

The teams lined up:

Trofense: Paulo Lopes, Miguel Ângelo, Valdomiro, Milton do Ó, Areias (Hélder Barbosa 46), Delfim (Lipatin 71), Mércio, Ricardo Nascimento, Paulinho, Zé Carlos, Edu Souza (Reguila 46)

Vitória: Nilson, Andrezinho, Danilo, Moreno, Luciano Amaral, Flávio, João Alves, Desmarets, Carlitos (Wênio 84), Roberto (Fajardo 87), Douglas (Jean Coral 92)

28/09/08

Benfica shaded an even Lisbon derby in front of 60,000 at the Luz on Saturday, beating Sporting 2-0. In a blistering start, Yannick was put through by Miguel Veloso but failed to beat Quim in a one-on-one situation, and a shot from 30m by Cardozo sailed just over. Then on 18 minutes came the best chance of the first half, the hard-working Maxi Pereira making the line on the right and putting the ball across the face of the goal, where Nuno Gomes was unable to hit the target from point blank range. Early in the second half, Jorge Ribeiro and João Moutinho both had almost identical shots saved well by the opposing 'keeper, and chances also fell to Veloso and Cardozo, but neither could break the deadlock. Then on 66 minutes, the impressive Reyes played a one-two with sub Aimar on the left and the Spanish winger struck a sweet, swerving, angled shot low into the opposite corner. Paulo Bento was about to make two substitutions in response, Pereirinha and Liedson, back from injury, but on 72 minutes, a free kick from the right by Carlos Martins was met at the back post by the head of Brazilian centre-back Sidnei for his first goal in Portugal; he later dedicated it to his family. The result puts Benfica on the same eight points as FC Porto, one point behind Sporting. Nacional can go clear top if they beat Estrela da Amadora on Sunday.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Miguel Vítor, Sidnei, Jorge Ribeiro, Ruben Amorim (Katsouranis 45), Yebda, Carlos Martins, Reyes (Di María 75), Nuno Gomes (Pablo Aimar 60), Cardozo.

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Liedson 73), Tonel, Polga, Grimi, Rochemback, Miguel Veloso, Romagnoli (Pereirinha 73), Moutinho, Postiga (Derlei 68), Yannick Djaló.

Marcador: 1-0, Reyes (67m); 2-0, Sidnei (72m)

Sporting Braga confirmed their poor start to the season, conceding a 1-1 draw at home to Naval. Meyong put Braga ahead from close range on 15 minutes, but Lazaroni equalised from the spot ten minutes from time.

Vitória de Setúbal moved up to fifth with a 1-0 win at home to Rio Ave, Ricardo Chaves getting the only goal midway through the second half.

27/09/08

A less-than-sparkling FC Porto did just enough to beat Paços de Ferreira 2-0 on Friday in front of 31,000 at the Dragão. After a disappointing draw at Rio Ave last week, Porto, without midfield maestro Lucho González, came out with all guns blazing and had Paços rocking. On 14 minutes, Lisandro López made the line on the right and cut the ball back low to the edge of the area for Raul Meireles to fire into the top right-hand corner. Porto continued to dominate the first half, and Paços first shot on goal did not come until the 40th minute. The second half saw a much less effective Porto, and Paços looked to be getting back in the game when on 72 minutes, sub Hulk fed Meireles on the left and the wiry midfielder's low cross was thumped in by Hulk, following up. Porto were disappointing overall, still showing that they miss the stability of Paulo Assunção and the unpredictability of Ricardo Quaresma. They will need to raise their game for the upcoming Champions League meeting with Arsenal. Paços have just one point to show from their four games.

The teams lined up

F.C. Porto: Helton, Sapunaru (Candeias 56), Rolando, Bruno Alves, Lino, Tomás Costa, Fernando, Raul Meireles, Lisandro (Hulk 70), Farías (Guarin 56), Rodriguez

Paços de Ferreira: Cássio, Ricardo, Ozeia, Tiago Valente, Josa, Filipe Anunciação, Pedrinha (William 74), Paulo Sousa (Chico Silva 74), Cristiano, Leandro Tatu, Filipe Gonçalves (Rui Miguel 46)

23/09/08

Nené on 28 minutes and Alonso from the spot on the hour scored the goals at Vitória de Guimarães that put Nacional at the top of the table along with Sporting. Vitória had Sereno and Gregory sent off within a four-minute period midway through the second half, but Nacional were not ruthless enough to build a goleada and had to settle for the 2-0 win.

Benfica won their first game of the Liga on Monday, beating Paços de Ferreira 4-3. Nuno Gomes got the first on seven minutes in a ping-pong scoring sequence: Ozeia equalised on 13, Maxi Pereira put Benfica back in front on 31 minutes, and Cardozo from the spot sent Benfica in at half-time with a two goal lead. But what should perhaps have been a more comfortable second half for the Eagles proved the opposite: Rui Miguel drew one back for Paços on 63 minutes, and while Jorge Ribeiro blasted Benfica further ahead with a shot from the edge of the area on 76, William reduced the lead once again four minutes from time. And with the last kick of the game, Tatu forced a good save from Quim, one which saw three points winging their way southwards to Lisbon.

The teams lined up:

Paços de Ferreira: Bruno Conceição, Ricardo, Ozeia, Tiago Valente (Rui Miguel 45), Chico Silva, Paulo Sousa, Pedrinha, Filipe Anunciação (Cristiano 70), Edson (Filipe Gonçalves 80), Leandro Tatu, William.

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Sidnei, Miguel Vítor, Jorge Ribeiro, Yebda, Ruben Amorim (Balboa 77), Carlos Martins, Reyes (Di Maria 89), Nuno Gomes (Pablo Aimar 69), Cardozo.

22/09/08

FC Porto came up against a brick wall in the shape of Rio Ave on Sunday and came away with just the one point from a dour 0-0 draw. A well organised Rio Ave kept the champions at bay in the first half, and rode their luck in the second as Porto put the pressure on but did not have the lucidity to make their pressure pay.

The teams lined up:

Rio Ave: Paiva, Miguel Lopes, Gaspar, Bruno Mendes, Sílvio, André Vilas Boas, Niquinha (André Carvalhas 92), Livramento (Tarantini 65), Delson, Chidi (Semedo 70), Evandro

F.C. Porto: Helton, Sapunaru, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Fucile (Lino 60), Fernando, Lucho, Raul Meireles (Candeias 78), Mariano (Hulk 60), Lisandro, Rodríguez

Sporting Braga fell 0-2 at improving Leixões, Wesley once again key for the home side. On 35 minutes, his shot was deflected past Eduardo after Fréchaut had lost the ball in midfield. On 58 minutes, the same player crossed from the goal-line for Marques to head comfortably in.

Naval were too much for struggling Trofense, yet to notch up a single point. Dudu and Marcelinho put Naval two up within a minute midway through the first half, with Miguel Ângelo pulling one back for the visitors. Hauw put the game beyond Trofense from the spot with a minute to go.

A Cléber penalty ten minutes from time after a foul by Sissoko on Diogo Gomes, in front of just 2,734 spectators at the 30,000 capacity Coimbra Municipal Stadium (built for Euro 2004), was enough to give Académica the points over Vitória de Setúbal.

Estrela da Amadora drew 0-0 in front of fewer than 1,000 against Marítimo.

21/09/08

A controversial goal on 35 minutes, scored by Hélder Postiga who looked offside, set Sporting on the way to a victory over an ineffectual Belenenses, giving them top spot in the Liga. Postiga it was who proved decisive, entering the box on 48 minutes to be fouled by Maykon for Romagnli to score from the spot. Sporting's goalkeeper Rui Patrício proved decisive in the second half, saving well from Silas and Maykon in the Blues' only real chances in the game.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Polga, Tonel, Caneira, João Moutinho, Rochemback (Miguel Veloso 60), Romagnoli (Pereirinha 81), Izmailov (Vukcevic 45), Yannick Djaló, Postiga.

Belenenses: Júlio César, Carciano, Alex, Matheus, Mano, Gabriel Gómez, Silas, Zé Pedro, Maykon (Vanderlei 77), Wender (João Paulo 79), Porta (Roncatto 70).

02/09/08

Sporting chalked up their second win (0-1) at difficult Sporting Braga on Monday to go equal top with Nacional. Hélder Postiga finished off a good run and cross by Abel after just three minutes. Braga, especially Linz, were a little wasteful with the chances they had, while Sporting defended their lead stoutly. Braga's right back João Pereira was sent off five minutes from time; the referee also showed ten yellow cards.

The teams lined up:

Sorting Braga: Eduardo, João Pereira, Moisés, Rodriguez, Evaldo, Frechaut, Matheus (C. Peixoto 57), Alan, Luis Aguia (Mossoró 66), Linz, Meyong (Rentería 66)

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Tonel, Caneira, Grimi, João Moutinho, Izmailov, Rochemback, Romagnoli (Veloso 66), Derlei (Vukcevic 85), Postiga (Tiuí 56),

Vitória de Guimarães got their first win of the season, also 1-0, at Marítimo. An unmarked Roberto got the only goal of the game on 15 minutes, heading in a Luciano cross from the left.

01/09/08

After 1,007 days at the top of the league table, FC Porto lost the spot on Sunday, Nacional toppling them. In the first six minutes of the second half against Naval, the Madeiran side were two up through Mateus and Alonso. Paulão pulled one back 20 minutes from time, but that's as near as Naval got to the points.

The teams lined up:

Nacional: Rafael Bracalli, Patacas, Maicon, Halliche, Alonso, Cléber, Edson Sitta (Juninho 46), Rafael Bastos (Bruno Amaro 53), Luís Alberto, Nené (João Aurélio 86), Mateus.

Naval: Jorge Baptista, Tiago, Paulão, Diego, Igor, Bruno Lazaroni, Godemeche (Bolívia 56), Alex Hauw, Davide (Michel 56), Marinho (Dudu 66), Marcelinho.

Vitória de Setúbal coach Dauto Faquirá received and beat his old club Estrela da Amadora 1-0. The goal by former Estrela midfielder Mateus in the second minute was enough to separate the teams.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Bruno Vale, Janício, Robson, Auri, Cissokho, Sandro, Elias, Ricardo Chaves, Laionel (Bruno Ribeiro 81), Mateus (Bruno Gama 58), Carrijo (Saleiro 67).

Estrela da Amadora: Nelson, Hugo Gomes, Mustafa, Nuno Coelho, Moreno, Goianira (Ndiaye 54), Jardel, Marco Paulo (Monteiro 77), Teti, Anselmo, Celsinho (Garavano 28).

Trofense suffered their second defeat, this time 1-2 at home to Leixões. Wesley got the first on 23 minutes and Zé Manel extended Leixões' lead on the hour with a delicate chip. Ricardo Nascimento reduced the deficit five minutes later. Leixões had Paulo Tavares sent off for a second yellow a quarter of an hour from time.

The teams lined up:

Trofense: Paulo Lopes, Zamorano, Milton do Ó, Valdomiro, Areias (Pinheiro 45), Delfim, Ricardo Nascimento, Hélder Sousa, Mércio (David Caiado 45), Edú Souza (Rui Borges 64), Zé Carlos.

Leixões: Beto, Vasco Fernandes, Nuno Silva, Elvis, Laranjeiro, Bruno China, Hugo Morais, Zé Manel (Joel 79), Paulo Tavares, Jorge Gonçalves (Braga 87), Wesley (Marques 92).

A shot from outside the area into the top left-hand corner of the net by Panamanian striker Garcês on 23 minutes was enough to give Académica all three points at home to Rio Ave.

 

31/08/08

Benfica and FC Porto drew the first clássico of the season 1-1 in front of 53,000 at the Luz on Saturday. Porto were in front after just 11 minutes, Katsouranis bringing Lucho González down in the area, the Argentinian midfielder slotting home from the spot. Porto were the more organised side in the first half, but neither of the teams could have organised a party in a brewery on the strength of their second half displays. Óscar Cardozo equalised for Benfica on 56 minutes with a header after Hélton had only half cleared a cross by Yebda. Then on the hour, Katsouranis saw a second yellow for a foul on the much-jeered Cristiano Rodriguez on his first appearance at the Luz since his defection in the close season. With half an hour left, Porto might and perhaps should have capitalised on their numerical superiority, but they couldn't and didn't.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Katsouranis, Léo (Ruben Amorim 68), Yebda, Carlos Martins, Di Maria, Reyes, Aimar (Nuno Gomes 50), Óscar Cardozo (Sidnei 65).

FC Porto: Helton, Sapunaru, Rolando, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Tomás Costa (Guarín 46), Fernando (Hulk 62), Raul Meireles (Candeias 82), Lucho González, Cristian Rodriguez, Lisandro López.

The most serious incident in the game in terms of the crowd was a Benfiquista running on after 20 minutes and half-attacking one of the linesmen. Benfica can expect at least a fine following the incident.

30/08/08

In the opening game of the second jornada, Belenenses could only draw 2-2 at home to Paços de Ferreira. They went in at half-time one up through Zé Pedro, but Paços dominated the second half against the passive hosts. William, who came on as sub on 64 minutes, headed in at the back post to equalise on 72 minutes, then scored with a superb curving shot from the edge of the area to put Paços in front on 90. It looked done and dusted, but deep into added time, a free-kick from the left by Maykon found three Belenenses players unmarked at the back post, and Rodrigo Arroz scored with a simple header. Belenenses coach Casemiro Mior was the target of some abuse from Belenenses' fans at the end because of the team's poor start to the season.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Júlio César, Baiano (Evandro 78), Rodrigo Arroz, Matheus, China, Gabriel Goméz (Mano 69), Cândido Costa, Silas, José Pedro (Maykon 57), Vinicius, João Paulo Oliveira.

Paços de Ferreira: Bruno Conceição, Chico Silva, Ozéia, Tiago Valente, Ricardo, Paulo Sousa, Dedé (Rui Miguel 74), Filipe Gonçalves, Josa (Cristiano 39), Leandro Tatu (William 64), Edson.

There will be 590 police officers on duty in and around the Luz stadium for the first clássico of the season between Benfica and FC Porto, considered high risk in terms of public safety. Saturday's game kicks off at 20.45, Lisbon time.

25/08/08

FC Porto opened their 2008/09 account with three points on Sunday from a 2-0 win over a timid Belenenses in front of 42,000 at the Dragão. On 15 minutes, a Lisandro shot was palmed away by Júlio César, but China cleared the loose ball against Mariano and the ball flew into the net. On 74 minutes, Carsiano was sent off for a harsh second yellow and Belenenses were as good as dead. Hulk confirmed the win ten minutes later with a superb shot into the top left-hand corner from just inside the area.

The teams lined up:
FC Porto:
Helton, Sapunaru, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Benitez, Raul Meireles, Tomas Costa (Guarin 75), Lucho, Mariano (Fucile 80), Rodriguez (Hulk 68), Lisandro.

Belenenses: Júlio César, Baiano, Carciano, Rodrigo Arroz (Organista 64), China, Matheus, Cândido Costa, José Pedro, Silas, Marcelo Faria (João Paulo 54), Maykon (Vinicius 70).

A little further north, Benfica were having trouble with a well-organised Rio Ave, back in the top flight. Rio Ave went in front on 55 minutes, Semedo prodding home after Quim had stopped but fumbled an Evandro header. The lead lasted less than a minute: Urreta crossed from the right, Paiva palmed the ball away but Nuno Gomes, on as sub, was lurking at the back post to head home.

The teams lined up:

Rio Ave: Paiva, Miguel Lopes, Gaspar, Bruno Mendes, Sílvio, André Vilas Boas, Livramento (André Carvalhas 92), Delson, Evandro,Tarantini (Niquinha 82), Semedo (Ronaldo 72).

Benfica: Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Katsouranis, Leo, Yebda, Ruben Amorim, Carlos Martins (Felipe Bastos 27), Urreta (Balboa 69), Aimar, Cardozo.

Estrela da Amadora had a good start, beating Académica 1-0 at home. Celsinho with a simple tap-in on 57 minutes earned coach Lito his first points in the Liga.

The teams lined up:

Estrela da Amadora: Nelson, Hugo Gomes, Mustafa, Nuno André Coelho, Moreno, Marcelo Goianira (Fernando Alexandre 83), Jardel, Marco Paulo, Teti, Celsinho (Anselmo 90), Rui Varela (Ndiaye 70).

Académica: Peskovic, Pedrinho, Luiz Nunes, Orlando, Cléber, Tiero, Pavlovic (Eder 64), Nuno Piloto, Cris (Miguel Pedro 59), Sougou (Madej 77), Lito.

Naval sank Marítimo by the same scoreline, Marinho netting on just three minutes. Naval's Baradji was sent off on 78 minutes.

The teams lined up:
Naval 1 de Maio:
Jorge Batista, Tiago Rannown, Paulão, Diego, Igor, Lazaroni, Alex Hauw (Gilmar 80), Baradji, Davide (Bolívia 61), Marcelinho (Dudu 69), Marinho.

Marítimo: Marcos, Briguel, Fernando Cardozo, João Guilherme, Carlos Fernandes, João Luiz, Olberdam, Manu (Djalma 58), Sidnei, Pedro Moutinho (Bruno Fogaça 45), Paulo Jorge (Marcinho 58)

Leixões fell 1-3 at home to Nacional. Wesley, formerly of Paços de Ferreira, put the home side in front on 17 minutes, but two goals from Bruno Amaro, on 36 and 62, knocked the stuffing out of Leixões, and Edson added the coup de grâce on 65.

The teams lined up:

Leixões: Beto, Diogo Luís (Braga 71), Elvis, Nuno Silva, Vasco Fernandes, Bruno China, Diogo Valente (Paulo Tavares 68), Castanheira, Zé Manuel (Marques 55), Wesley, Jorge Gonçalves.

Nacional: Rafael Bracali, Alonso (Igor Pita 71), Edson (Ruben Micael 75), Halliche, Maicon, Cleber, Bruno Amaro, Luís Alberto, Rafael Bastos (Juninho 61), Mateus, Néné.

24/08/08

Sporting swept Liga newcomers Trofense aside with a clinical display in the first half hour in which they scored their three goals through Tonel with a thundering header on four minutes, Izmailov with a close range header on 24 and Djaló with a cheeky back-heel on 28. Sporting took their foot off the accelerator and allowed Trofense back into the game in the second half, pulling one back on the hour with a spot-kick by Pinheiro. Anderson Polga was sent off for bringing José Carlos down, but the tackle was outside the area and the penalty should not have been given. Sporting coach Paulo Bento as quick to criticise the refereeing after the game.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patricio, Abel, Polga, Tonel, Grimi, Moutinho, Rochemback, Romagnoli (Caneira 60), Izmailov, Djaló (Bruno Pereirinha 80), Derlei (Postiga 89).

Trofense: Paulo Lopes, Milton do Ó, Areias (Zé Carlos 39), Valdomiro, Mércio, Zamorano, Hélder Barbosa, Pinheiro (Rui Borges 69), Ricardo Nascimento, Delfim, Lipatin (Edu Sousa 46).

An impressive-looking
Sporting Braga made the short trip to difficult Paços de Ferreira and came away with all three points thanks to goals from Meyong early in the second half and Paulo César on 85, just three minutes after coming on as sub.

The teams lined up:

Paços de Ferreira: Bruno Conceição, China, Tiago Valente, Ricardo, Chico Silva, Paulo Sousa, Pedrinha (Kelly 78), Josa (Cristiano 55), Filipe Gonçalves (Rui Miguel 60), Edson, William.

Sporting Braga: Eduardo, João Pereira, Frechaut, Rodriguez, Evaldo, Vandinho (André Leone 15), Alan, César Peixoto (Matheus 76), Luís Aguiar, Meyong, Linz (Paulo César 82).

23/08/08

Vitória de Guimarães and Vitória de Setúbal drew one apiece in front of 16,000 in the opening game of the Liga (this year sponsored by the beer Sagres). Douglas scored the first goal of the campaign in added time in the first half, which Guimarães dominated, heading in at the back post from a cross by Andrezinho. But they did not capitalise on their superiority and Setúbal managed a point eight minutes from time through Elias.

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Gregory, Moreno, Luciano Amaral, Flávio Meireles, João Alves (Luís Filipe 85), Fajardo, Desmarets, Marquinho (Wênio 72), Douglas (Jean Coral 79).

Vitória de Setúbal: Bruno Vale, Janício, Auri, Robson, Cissokho, Sandro, Elias, Ricardo Chaves (Carrijo 61), Leandro Lima (Bruno Ribeiro 68), Laionel, Mateus (Bruno Gama 35).

15/08/08

The two Vitórias, Guimarães and Setúbal, will open up the new Liga season on 22 August. The first jornada looks like this:

22/08
Vitória de Guimarães-Vitória de Setúbal

23/08
Paços de Ferreira-Sp. Braga
Sporting-Trofense

24/08
Estrela da Amadora-Académica
Naval-Marítimo
Leixões-Nacional
F.C. Porto-Belenenses
Rio Ave-Benfica

 

31/05/08

The Liga de Clubes has introduced a rule whereby clubs which do not have salaries to players paid up will be barred from registering for next season's competitions.

12/05/08

Sporting clinched the second automatic Champions League place on Sunday, beating plucky Boavista 2-1. It was Boavista who took the lead on just five minutes, Ivan crashing in a cut back from Mateus. But the lead lasted just six minutes, Romagnoli scoring from the spot after Marcelão had brought down Izmailov. Then on 23 minutes, the moment of the match: Vukcevic centred, Izamailov chested down and Tiuí knocked it in for the winner.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Tonel, Polga, Grimi, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Romagnoli (Farnerud 84), Izmailov (Celsinho 91), Rodrigo Tiuí (Pereirinha 66), Vukcevic.

Boavista: Jehle, Gilberto, Moisés, Marcelão (Bruno Pinheiro 31), Angulo, Fleurival, Luís Loureiro, Jorge Ribeiro, Hussaine, Fary, Mateus.

Vitória de Guimarães finished third and will play a Champions League qualifying round. They found it hard going initially against a safe Estrela da Amadora, who tired badly and collapsed to a 0-4 defeat, Flávio Meireles, Alan, Andrezinho and Desmarets getting the goals.

Benfica also won, beating Vitória de Setúbal 3-0, but it was not enough to break into the Champions League places, and they will have to be content with the UEFA Cup. It was the night that Rui Costa hung up his boots – he was given a standing ovation as he was replaced five minutes from time – but he would have wanted his last season to be a happier one. For the record, Benfica's goals were scored by Katsouranis (assisted by Rui Costa) and Cardozo (a rocket from outside the area) in the first half, and Nuno Gomes two minutes from time. It was not a happy goodbye for Vitória coach Carlos Carvalhal, who is moving to Greece, but he will be content with a good season overall.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Nélson (Maxi Pereira 46), Luisão, Edcarlos, Léo, Katsouranis, Nuno Assis (Di Maria 64), Rui Costa (Binya 86), Cristian Rodriguez, Nuno Gomes, Cardozo.

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Hugo, Léo Bonfim, Robson, Sandro, Elias, Filipe Gonçalves (Bruno Ribeiro 46), Ricardo Chaves (Bruno Severino 85), Pitbull, Bruno Gama (Paulinho 75).

At the bottom of the table,
Leixões lost at home to a Mossoró goal on the hour against Marítimo, but they stay up because rivals for the drop Paços de Ferreira could do no more than draw 1-1 at União de Leiria, Éder equalising a first half goal from William right at the end of the game. Paços may stay up, however, if Boavista's appeal against relegation following the referee bribery scandal fails. Leixões' president Carlos Oliveira announced his resignation after the game.

Up to the top tier go Trofense and Rio Ave, who edged out Vizela on the last day.

11/05/08

FC Porto began their final game at Naval with nine first choice players rested ahead of next weekend's Taça de Portugal Final against Sporting: Helton, Bosingwa, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles, Lucho González, Quaresma and Lisandro López. Even so, the Dragões sank Naval without too much trouble, Ernesto Farias , on 37 and 41 minutes, getting both goals in a 2-0 win. Ventura made his début in goal for Porto to enable him to claim his Champions sash.

The teams lined up:

Naval: Taborda, Mário Sérgio, Paulão, Diego Ângelo, China, Lazaroni, Delfim (Godeméche 84), João Ribeiro (Dudu 76), Davide, Marinho, Marcelinho (Elivelton 66).

FC Porto: Ventura, Fucile (Pedro Emanuel 46), Stepanov, João Paulo, Lino, Mariano (Castro 60m), Bolatti, Kaz, Sektioui (Hélder Barbosa 60), Adriano, Farías.

Sporting Braga secured 7th spot in the Liga and qualified for the Intertoto Cup ahead of Belenenses after both teams won their games 2-1.

Braga had to come from behind to beat Académica at home. Lito put Os Estudantes in front early in the second half, but Matheus on 57 minutes and João Tomás on 80 gave Braga the points.

The teams lined up:

Sporting Braga: Kieszek, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Breno, Carlos Fernandes (Miguelito 58), Vandinho (João Tomás 74), Contreras, César Peixoto, Jailson (Matheus 55), Linz, Wender.

Académica: Rui Nereu, Berger (Cristiano 81), Irineu, Kaká, Cléber, Nuno Piloto, Tiero (Pedrinho 60), Cris, Miguel Pedro (Fofana 67), Luís Aguiar, Lito.

Belenenses travelled to Madeira to beat Nacional, but owing to the six points docked for playing Cameroonian forward Meyong illegally earlier in the season, it was not enough to nudge ahead of Braga. The story of the game was very similar to Braga's: Nacional went in front early in the second half through Fábio Coentrão (his third goal in two games), but an own goal by Cardozo a minute later and another from João Paulo on 57 minutes gave the Lisbon side the points. Nacional's captain Patacas was sent off on the hour.

The teams lined up:

Nacional: Rafael Bracalli, Patacas, Fernando Cardozo, Filipe Lopes, Ricardo Fernandes, Cléber, Edson Sitta (João Coimbra 76), Pateiro (Adriano 58), Juliano, Fábio Coentrão, Rodrigo (Juninho 58).

Belenenses: Júlio César, Amaral, Edson, Rolando, Areias (Rodrigo Alvim 61), Ruben Amorim, Silas, José Pedro (Fernando 34), Rafael Bastos, Weldon, João Paulo (Cândido Costa 73).

05/05/08

Sporting kept hold of second place in the Liga with a 1-0 win at struggling Paços de Ferreira. Paços had two prime chances to take the lead, through Edson, with a solo run and shot cleared off the line by Tonel, and Cristiano, who hit the bar, before Yannick scored the only goal of the game on 34 minutes: Miguel Veloso curled a free-kick (from a foul that did not exist) to the back post, and the Portuguese U-21 swivelled to hook the loose ball into the net.

The teams lined up:

Paços de Ferreira: Peçanha, Mangualde (Fernando Pilar 61), Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Filipe Anunciação, Dedé, Pedrinha, William, Cristiano, Edson (Fábio Paim 72).

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Tonel, Polga, Grimi, João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Izmailov (Farnerud 91), Romagnoli (Pereirinha 73), Vukcevic (Glastone 83), Yannick.

Vitória de Guimarães kept Sporting in their sights with a 1-1 draw at Belenenses. Weldon put the home side in front after just five minutes, but captain Flávio Meireles headed in at the near post from a corner on the right by Desmarets to equalise for Vitória.

Benfica jeopardised their chances of Champions League football with a 0-0 draw at Estrela da Amadora, a game they should on paper have won. the nearest they came to a goal was when Cardozo hit the bar in the first half, but Estrela also had their chances during the game. Benfica fans threw flares at the team coach as it left the ground.

The teams lined up:

Estrela da Amadora: Pedro Alves, Rui Duarte, Wagnão, Maurício (Hugo Carreira 44), Hélder Cabral, Fernando, Tiago Gomes, Marcelo, Mateus, Mendonça (Celestino 79), Anselmo (Giancarlo 79)

Benfica: Quim, Nélson (Di María 46), Luisão, Edcarlos, Sepsi, Petit (Nuno Assis 79), Maxi Pereira, Rui Costa, Rodriguez, Nuno Gomes (Mantorras 67), Cardozo

Sporting are on 52 points, Guimarães on 50 and Benfica on 49. The clubs are at home to Boavista, Estrela da Amadora and Vitória de Setúbal respectively on the last jornada.

Vitória de Setúbal and Marítimo guaranteed a place in the UEFA Cup with 2-0 wins over Leixões and União de Leiria, respectively. Cláudio Pitbull on 17 minutes and Bruno Gama on 67 gave Setúbal the win, while Bruno with a penalty on 27 minutes and Ediglê three minutes into the second half kept the three points in Madeira.

Académica drew 1-1 at home to Naval, Diego putting the visitors in front on 23 minutes, Litos equalising on the hour.

Boavista drew 0-0 at home with Sporting Braga in a mid-table game in which nothing was at stake.

Promoted to the Liga from the Liga de Honra are Trofense, for the first time in their history after drawing 1-1 at home to Gondomar. They will be joined by Rio Ave or Vizela. Relegated from the Liga de Honra are Penafiel and Fátima.

04/05/08

Champions FC Porto were humiliated in their last home game of the season against mid-table Nacional, going down 0-3. A string of unforced errors from Porto gave Nacional a 2-0 lead at the break, Fábio Coentrão on target twice, the second a delicious chip over Hélton. In the second half, an uninspired Porto tried to pull the game back, but Nacional were well organised and went further ahead in added time, sub Juninho beating Hélton at his near post. Nacional scored the double over a Porto side that had not lost and that had only conceded one goal home up until today.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Lino (Tarik 57) Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles (Bolatti 77), Lucho, Quaresma, Lisandro, Mariano Gonzalez (Farías 46)

Nacional: Bracalli, Patacas, Ricardo Fernandes, Felipe Lopes, Alonso, Cardozo, Cléber, Edson (João Coimbra 80), Spadacio, Rodrigo (Juninho 72), Fábio Coentrão (Pateiro 68)

01/05/08

The Council of Justice of the Portuguese Football Federation have refused Belenenses' appeal against the decision to penalise the club for, earlier in the season, playing Cameroonian striker Meyong after he had already represented two other (Spanish) clubs in the season, which breaks a UEFA rule. Meyong scored from the spot in a home win against Naval, but now the game will be given to Naval (3-0). Belenenses will also lose three points as a penalty: six points lost will mean that Belenenses drop out of the UEFA Cup places in the Liga. The club is considering a further appeal to a higher authority.

The dates and times of the penultimate jornada of the Liga have been announced. Games involving clubs fighting for the same objectives will be on Sunday at 19.15.

Saturday (3 May)
F.C. Porto v Nacional, 19.30

Sunday (4 May)
Académica v Naval, 16.00
Vitória de Setúbal v Leixões, 19.15
Estrela da Amadora v Benfica, 19.15
Belenenses v Vitória de Guimarães, 19.15
Boavista v Sporting Braga, 19.15
Paços de Ferreira v Sporting, 19.15
Marítimo v Uinão de Leiria, 19.15

 

29/04/08

Estrela da Amadora are mathematically safe after squeezing a 0-0 draw out of their trip across the River Tagus to Vitória de Setúbal on Monday. It was the latest in a series of poor results from Vitória, who now see their UEFA Cup place threatened: They are on 42 points, just two ahead of Marítimo in 7th. Estrela have yet to win away this season.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Paulo Roberto, Hugo, Auri, Jorginho, Elias, Sandro, Ricardo Chaves; Bruno Gama (Kim 73), Leandro Branco (Bruno Severino 46), Pitbull.

Estrela da Amadora: Nélson, Rui Duarte, Maurício, Wagnão, Hugo Carreira (Celestino 63), Moreno, Fernando, Tiago Gomes, Marcelo Goianira, Mendonça (Anselmo 25), Ndiaye (Giancarlo 63).

28/04/08

FC Porto crushed Vitória de Guimarães 5-0 on Sunday, confounding critics who thought they might take their foot off the gas to help fellow northerners in their fight against Sporting and Benfica for the second automatic Champions League spot. An even first half ended all square, but Porto demolished second-in-the-table Guimarães in a half-hour period in the second half with goals by Bruno Alves, Quaresma (2), Farías and Adriano.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha (Fajardo 72), Flávio Meireles, Moreno (Carlitos 61), Desmarets, Alan, Ghilas, Miljan (Roberto 55),
F.C. Porto: Helton, Fucile, Bruno Alves, Stepanov, Lino, Paulo Assunção (Kazmierczak 46), Bolatti, Raul Meireles (Farías 69), Quaresma, Lisandro (Adriano 63), Mariano

Sporting jumped over Vitória into second with a 2-1 win at home to Marítimo. The Madeiran side were in front after just two minutes, Anderson Polga and Rui Patrício getting into a mix up and letting in Bruno Fogaça to score with an overhead kick from an acute angle. Then on 19 minutes, Romagnoli appeared to dive after a mere touch by Gregory, and the Argentinian struck the spot-kick home. The winner came on 53 minutes, Ricardo Esteves attemting to clear, the ball rebounding off Romagnoli and looping over Marcos, who had slipped, and in.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Tonel, Polga, Grimi, Miguel Veloso, Izmailov, Romagnoli, João Moutinho, Yannick Djaló (Tiuí 45; Simon Vukcevic 61), Liedson (Gladstone 90).

Marítimo. Marcos, Ricardo Esteves (Ediglê 92), Gregory, Van der Linden, Evaldo, Bruno, Olberdam, Mossoró (Anderson 33), João Luíz, Fábio Felício (André Pinto 73), Bruno Fogaça.

At the bottom, Académica ensured their safety with a conclusive 3-0 win at Nacional, where coach Jankovic was booed by the home fans. Cris with two first-half goals and Edgar did the damage.

Also safe are Naval, who beat Boavista 1-0 at home with a strike from outside the area from Delfim, who began his career at Boavista.

Down are União de Leiria, who had hung on with some good recent results. But Leixões, also in danger of the drop, were too good for them on the day and came away from Leiria with three points from a 3-1 win. Jorge Gonçalves put the visitors ahead in the first minute, while Éder equalised for União on 17 minutes. Two goals in quick succession midway through the second half from Hugo Morais and Castanheira clinched the points for Leixões.

It now appears to be a toss-up between Leixões and Paços de Ferreira to see who joins União in the Liga de Honra next season, with Paços favourites for the drop.

27/04/08

After three goal-less Liga games, Benfica returned to their scoring ways to beat Lisbon neighbours Belenenses 2-0 in front of 33,000 at the Luz on Saturday. Brazilian central defender Luisão volleyed in a loose ball following a Rui Costa corner on 41 minutes, while Paraguayan striker Cardozo curled home an impeccable free kick on 65 to make the result safe. Belenenses had Hugo Alcântara sent off a quarter of an hour from the end for hitting Katsouranis. Benfica go provisionally into third, a point behind Vitória de Guimarães and two ahead of Sporting.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Luisão, Edcarlos, Léo, Katsouranis, Nuno Assis (Luís Filipe 74), Rui Costa, Cristian Rodriguez (Sepsi 87), Cardozo, Nuno Gomes (Di Maria 63).

Belenenses: Júlio César, Amaral, Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Gomez (João Paulo Oliveira 59), Rafael Bastos (Roncatto 75), Rúben Amorim, Silas (Cândido Costa 75), José Pedro, Weldon.

26/04/08

After the resignation of Manuel Machado, caretaker coach António Caldas saw Sporting Braga win for the first time in five games on Friday, beating struggling Paços de Ferreira 2-1 . Austrian striker Roland Linz put them in front after a quarter of an hour (the 500th goal in the Liga this season), and Fréchaut extended Braga's lead seven minutes into the second half, with William pulling one back ten minutes later. The same player had been guilty of a point-blank miss in the first half, and Paços will feel hard done by with a penalty appeal that was turned down for a clear foul on Wesley. Braga move provisionally up to eighth while Paços remain third from bottom. Leixões can go above them if they beat União de Leiria on Sunday. Paços' star player Wesley was replaced near half-time with a serious knee injury.

The teams lined up:

Sporting Braga: Kieszek, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Contreras, Carlos Fernandes, Frechaut (Breno 88), Roberto Brum, Stélvio Cruz (Miguelito 43), Jailson, Linz, Wender (Philco 79).

Paços de Ferreira: Coelho, Ferreira (Fernando Pilar 82), Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Filipe Anunciação (Fábio Paim 56), Paulo Sousa, Pedrinha, Edson, Wesley (Cristiano 45), William.

22/04/08

Belenenses thrashed rivals for a European place Vitória de Setúbal 5-0 in the last game of the 27th jornada on Monday. The home side were dominant throughout against a strangely sluggish Vitória, and it was all over within 35 minutes: two goals from Weldon on 18 and 26 minutes and a José Pedro penalty on 35, after Janício had handled on the line and was sent off, put the game virtually beyond Vitória. João Paulo, on as sub a quarter of an hour from time, got two in the last five minutes. Belenenses go fifth.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Júlio César, Amaral (Cândido Costa 72), Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Rúben Amorim (Gomez 72), Rafael Bastos, Silas, José Pedro, Roncatto (João Paulo 76), Weldon.

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Robson, Auri, Adalto, Elias (Bruno Ribeiro 67), Sandro, Ricardo Chaves (Filipe Gonçalves 59), Paulinho, Pitbull, Bruno Gama.

21/04/08

FC Porto striker Lisandro Lopez seven minutes from the start and ten minutes from the end took his Liga tally for the season to 24 and sank Benfica in the process. It was not the humiliation of their bitter rivals that 50,000 portistas packed into the Dragão might have wished for, but the win did take them 24 points ahead of the Eagles in fourth and 20 points ahead of Vitória de Guimarães in second.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Hélton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles (Bolatti 80), Lucho González, Tarik (Mariano Gonzalez 62), Quaresma (Farías 87), Lisandro López

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Katsouranis, Luisão, Léo, Binya, Maxi Pereira (Oscar Cardozo 56), Rui Costa, Di Maria (Nuno Assis 86), Cristian Rodriguez, Nuno Gomes (Makukula 78)

Benfica had problems leaving their training ground in Seixal on the way to the match; the police had to intervene with rubber bullets fired in the air as a handful of disgruntled fans stoned the coach. Just 150 fans from the Benfica claques made the trip north.

In the week, Sporting gave Benfica a two-goal start in the cup semi-final but stormed back to win. At bottom club União de Leiria, they did the same … at least the first part. Paulo César got two in the first 20 minutes against an unacceptably passive Sporting defence. Sporting piled on the pressure in the second half but União were able to soak it up, and they made it three through N´Gal , a brilliant back-heel, before Liedson reduced the margin to two again. But they left themselves open to the counter, and sure enough, Cadú got a fourth on the break. Sougou for União and Derlei for Sporting both saw direct reds in the closing stages. Sporting are now three points off the second automatic Champions League spot, currently held by Guimarães. União can still mathematically be saved, but it will need more miracles.

The teams lined up:

União de Leiria: Fernando, Éder Bonfim, Bruno Miguel, Éder Gaúcho, Patrick, Tiago, Cadú (Nélson 94), Harison (Lukasiewicz 77), N'Gal, Paulo César (Alhandra 90), Sougou.

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Pereirinha 59), Tonel, Polga, Grimi (Derlei 46), Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Izmailov (Romagnoli 77), Vukcevic, Yannick, Liedson.

After a turbulent week (see general news),
Boavista gave their fans something to smile about with a 10 win over Nacional. Diakité got the single goal on the hour, heading home a Jorge Ribeiro cross from close range. The Boavista players had been threatening to boycott the game due to two and a half months' overdue wages, but following a promise that at least some of the money would be paid from the directors' pockets, the team turned out and clinched a win that leaves the club mathematically safe in 8th. Nacional drop to 10th, three points behind.

The teams lined up:

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Gilberto, Moisés, Marcelão, Ângulo, Diakité, Fleurival (P. Moreira 56), Jorge Ribeiro (L. Loureiro 79), Zé Kalanga, Mateus, Fary (Charles Obi 65)

Nacional: Rafael Bracali, Patacas, Ricardo Fernandes, Fernando Cardozo, Alonso, Cléber, Edson Sitta, Juliano (Juninho 64), Fellype Gabriel (Lipatin 73), Fábio Coentrão (Bruno Amaro 63), Adriano.

Paços de Ferreira let a precious two points slip from their grasp at home to Naval, the visitors' Diego Ângelo equalising in added time to make it 2-2. William had put Paços in front on just three minutes, Marcelinho scored from the spot for his tenth of the season on the half hour, and Wesley restored Paços lead on the hour with his 12th. Naval's China saw a red card ten minutes from time. Both clubs remain in danger at the bottom of the table.

The teams lined up:

Paços de Ferreira: Coelho, Mangualde, Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Filipe Anunciação, Pedrinha, Wesley, Edson (Carlos Carneiro 80), Cristiano (Dedé 65), William (Fernando Pilar 91m)

Naval: Taborda, Mário Sérgio, Paulão, Diego Ângelo, China, Bruno Lazaroni, Davide (Dudu 65), Godemeche (Carlitos 80), Marinho, Marcelinho, Igor (João Ribeiro 46)

Leixões remain second from bottom after they were only able to draw 0-0 at home with virtually safe Estrela da Amadora.

The teams lined up:

Leixões: Jorge Batista, Ezequias, Joel, Nuno Silva, Filipe Oliveira (João Moreira 84), Nuno Diogo, Hugo Morais, Paulo Machado (P. Cervantes 63), Diogo Valente (Nwoko 71), Jorge Gonçalves, Roberto

Estrela da Amadora: Nelson, Rui Duarte, Wagnão, Hélder Cabral (H. Carreira 46), Maurício, Fernando, Marcelo Goianira, Mateus, Mendonça (P. Pereira 59), Anselmo, Ndiaye (Nuno Viveiro 80)

20/04/08

Marítimo thumped Sporting Braga 4-1 in Madeira Saturday. It was Braga who went in at the break 1-0 up, César Peixoto scoring from the spot and Marítimo coach Sebastião Lazaroni being sent off for words to the ref on the way to the changing rooms. Marítimo stung Braga with four goals in the first 25 minutes of the second half, however: Marcinho, João Luíz and Márcio Mossoró with two did the damage. Braga's César Peixoto was sent off five minutes from time.

The teams lined up:

Marítimo: Marcos, Ricardo Esteves, Gregory, Antoine van der Linden, Evaldo, Olberdam, João Luíz, Bruno, Marcinho (Luís Olim 71), Márcio Mossoró (Anderson 79), Bruno Fogaça (André Pinto 80).

Sporting Braga: Pawel Kieszek, Frechaut, Paulo Jorge, Contreras, Carlos Fernandes, Roberto Brum, Stélvio (Linz 60), Miguelito, César Peixoto, Jailson, Wender (Philco 79).

19/04/08

Vitória de Guimarães took a large following to Académica on Friday, but the fans had to make do with a 0-0 draw. In any event, the draw puts three points between Vitória and Sporting in third.

The teams lined up:

Académica: Pedro Roma, Berger, Orlando, Kaká, Pedro Costa (Tiero 61, Nuno Piloto, Pedrinho, Luís Aguiar, Cris, Miguel Pedro (Ivanildo 64), Lito (Edgar 85).

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha, Moreno (Fajardo 71), João Alves, Ghilas (Carlitos 76), Alan, Mrdakovic (Roberto 63), Desmarets.

15/04/08

Cameroonian striker N´gal scored the only goal of a bad-tempered game to give red lantern União de Leiria a surprise win at Sporting Braga on Monday. The result postpones União's almost inevitable mathematical relegation for another week. It was just their second win of the season, and they have only now broken into double figures in terms of points. Braga were booed off the field by their home fans.

14/04/08

Sporting leapfrogged over rivals Benfica into third place behind Vitória de Guimarães Sunday with a 2-0 win at home to struggling Leixões, who drop into the second relegation slot. In a poor game, it took two goals from almost identical set pieces to secure the points: Ronny supplied the corners for Tonel and Liedson to head home on 51 and 59 minutes. Sporting had a Liedson goal disallowed on 37 minutes and played the last 20 with ten men after Ronny saw a second yellow.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Tonel, Gladstone, Ronny, Farnerud (Pereirinha 46; Adrien 71), Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Izmailov (Pedro Silva 84), Yannick, Liedson.

Leixões: Jorge Baptista, Nuno Diogo, Joel (João Moreira 73), Nuno Silva, Ezequias (Diogo Valente 61), Paulo Machado, Bruno China, Hugo Morais, Filipe Oliveira, Roberto, Jorge Gonçalves (Nwoko 80).

Marítimo in 7th kept to within two points of Belenenses with a comfortable 3-0 win at Naval. Two Mossoró goals in the first half and one from Anderson in added time did the trick. Naval had Elivelton sent off five minutes from time. Naval are still in the danger area, just four points above the drop zone.

The teams lined up:

Naval: Taborda, Mário Sérgio, Gaúcho (Gilmar 33), Diego, China, Godeméche (Elivelton 45), Delfim, João Ribeiro, Dudu (Carlitos 62), Márinho, Marcelinho

Marítimo: Marcos, Ricardo Esteves, Gregory, João Guilherme, Evaldo, João Luís, Olberdan, Mossoró (Anderson 52), Bruno, Fábio Felício (Marcinho 90), Bruno Fogaça (Baba 79).

Paços de Ferreira moved out of the zone with an important 2-1 win at Nacional, who remain in ninth but see their already slim hopes of a European place dwindling. Paços were two-up by half-time through Chico Silva and top scorer Wesley, with Fernando Cardozo pulling one back 20 minutes from time.

The teams lined up:

Nacional: Rafael Bracalli, Patacas, Ricardo Fernandes, Fernando Cardozo, Alonso, Edson Sitta (Juninho 55), Halliche, Fellype Gabriel (Rodrigo 27), Juliano Spadacio, Fábio Coentrão, Lipatin (Adriano 63).

Paços de Ferreira: Coelho, Mangualde, Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Filipe Anunciação, Paulo Sousa, Pedrinha, Edson (Carlos Carneiro 75), William (Cristiano 64), Wesley (Dédé 88).

13/04/08

Champions FC Porto have not taken their foot off the pedal; they travelled to Setúbal Saturday to beat an under-strength Vitória 2-1 for their eighth straight win. They were 2-0 up in a five-minute period halfway through the first half through Lisandro López (his 22nd of the season) and Mariano González (after a possible handball), while Hugo pulled one back for Vitória on 37 minutes. The home side deserved an equaliser in a second half in which they piled on the pressure. Their coach, Carlos Carvalhal, rested some key players ahead of the Taça de Portugal semi-final between the same two clubs on Tuesday at the same Bonfim stadium.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Jorginho (Ricardo Chaves 46), Auri, Robson, Adalto, Elias (46), Hugo, Bruno Ribeiro, Kim (Cláudio Pitbull 58), Filipe, Paulinho.

FC Porto: Nuno, Fucile (Bosingwa 46), Stepanov, João Paulo, Lino, Lucho Gonzalez (Hélder Barbosa 75), Bolatti, Kazmierczak, Mariano Gonzalez, Lisandro Lopez (Adriano 66), Ricardo Quaresma.

Earlier in the evening, the other Vitória, de Guimarães, beat old rivals Boavista 1-0 at home to pull three points clear of Benfica in second place. It was a tough fight for Vitória against a combative Boavista, and they could only manage the single goal: on the half hour, Alan found himself free on the left, his cut-back was sent goalwards by João Alves and the ball was turned in from close range by Mrdakovic.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha, João Alves, Flávio Meireles, Alan (Fajardo 90), Ghilas (Moreno 83), Desmarets, Mrdakovic (Roberto 67).

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Bruno Pinheiro (Fary 69), Moisés, Marcelão, Angulo, Fleurival, Diakité, Jorge Ribeiro, Laionel (Hussaine 46), Mateus, Zé Kalanga (Ivan Santos 75).

Belenenses are in sixth, just two points now off Vitória de Setúbal, after they won 2-0 at Estrela da Amadora. Rafael Bastos on 12 minutes and José Pedro on 52 got the vital goals. Belenenses receive Vitória de Setúbal next week.

The teams lined up:

Estrela da Amadora: Nélson, Rui Duarte, Hugo Carreira, Maurício, Hélder Cabral (Nuno Viveiros 70), Marco Paulo (Pedro Pereira 46), Fernando, Tiago Gomes, Mateus (Celestino 60), Anselmo, Rui Pedro.

Belenenses: Júlio César, Amaral, Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Rafael Bastos (Fernando 76), Gómez (Devic 90), Ruben Amorim, José Pedro, Roncatto (Cândido Costa 46), Weldon.

12/04/08

Benfica lost only their second home game of the season and Académica got only their second away win as Benfica crashed 0-3 against Os Estudantes from Coimbra. Benfica's giant central defender Luisão got the ball rolling for Académica on just three minutes: he passed back tentatively towards Quim, but Miguel Pedro latched onto it, rounding the Benfica 'keeper and stroked the ball in. Berger began to make things look embarrassing for Benfica on the half-hour, beating Nuno Gomes to a Luís Aguiar free kick from the right to head low past Quim's left hand. And on 65, it was Aguiar, on loan from FC Porto, who took advantage of some more slack defending to rifle the ball home from 10 metres. It was the first time Académica had won at the Luz in 54 years. Benfica have dropped 18 points at home this season and could now, depending on results, see themselves dropping to fourth in the Liga behind Vitória de Guimarães and Sporting (at home to Boavista and Leixões, respectively).

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Luisão, Katsouranis, Léo (Makukula 72), Petit, Binya (Di Maria 41), Rodriguez, Rui Costa, Nuno Gomes (Mantorras 63), Cardozo.

Académica: Pedro Roma. Pedrinha, Berger, Orlando, Kaká, Pedro Costa, Nuno Piloto, Luis Aguiar (Ivanildo 81), Cris, Miguel Pedro (Edgar 74), Lito (Tiero 85).

06/04/08

With five games of the Liga still to go, FC Porto clinched the title Saturday, their third in a row, thrashing Estrela da Amadora 6-0 at a packed Dragão. It was practically all over after just 11 minutes, Lucho González and Sektioui on target. As Porto have conceded just one goal all season at home, it would have been a miracle if lowly Estrela had been able to pull that back. They weren't, and Quaresma, Maurício (own goal), Bruno Alves and Lisandro López completed the rout in the second half.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa (Bolatti 72), Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Lucho, Paulo Assunção (Farias 81), Raul Meireles, Sektioui (Mariano 65), Lisandro, Quaresma

Estrela da Amadora: Nélson, Moreno (Wagnão 14), Maurício, Hugo Carreira, Hélder Cabral, Marcelo Goianira, Tiago Gomes, Celestino (Nuno Viveiros 56), Mateus (Marco Paulo 73), Anselmo, Mendonça

"The crowd were fantastic," gushed coach Jesualdo Ferreira. "We're champions and, with the lead we have over our rivals, we should be happy and proud of our seriousness and competence. For FC Porto, it's important to keep the players motivated, and that can be only done with objectives and records to be achieved … People have always tried to devalue our merit and competitiveness. Although we play 90% of our games in Portugal, FC Porto also play abroad, and we continue to dignify Portuguese football and the history of FC Porto. To say that because our opponents couldn't keep up with us has decreased our merit is intellectual dishonesty."

Captain Pedro Emanuel: "I'm very proud to be in this team. More than a club, we're a family. We won this with work and a great sense of solidarity."

"We played really well and, above all, had a really good championship. We're really proud to be Champions again – it's what we fought for. This title feels better than last years because we managed to break some records," said Ricardo Quaresma.

It was FC Porto's
23rd title and they are now just eight away from eternal rivals Benfica. Sporting, the other club amongst the Três Grandes, have 18. Porto won the very first national title in 1934/35, but until the 1970s, it was Benfica who dominated (23 against five from Porto and 14 from Sporting).

Porto won two titles on the trot (1977-79), with legendary José Maria
Pedroto at the helm, and in the 90s they won the famous Penta (five in a row) between 1994/95 and 1998/99.

Académica and Vitória de Setúbal slogged out a 0-0 draw in Coimbra, a useful point for both at, respectively, the bottom and top of the table.

The teams lined up:

Académica: Pedro Roma, Pedrinho, Kaká, Orlando, Pedro Costa, Nuno Piloto, Miguel Pedro (Joeano 54; Ivanildo 63), Tiero, Luis Aguiar (Fofana 83), Cris, Edgar.

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Auri, Robson, Jorginho, Elias, Sandro, Ricardo Chaves (Bruno Ribeiro 89), Leandro (Filipe Gonçalves 53), Pitbull, Bruno Gama (Paulinho 76).

05/04/08

Vitória de Guimarães returned to the second spot in the Liga Friday, but their lead over Benfica, who play Boavista on Sunday, is now only one point after they could only draw 2-2 at Paços de Ferreira. Desmarets got Vitória's two goals (15 and 75 minutes), giving them the lead twice, but William on the hour and Wesley on the stroke of time gave Paços a valuable point in their fight against the drop.

The teams lined up:

Paços de Ferreira: Peçanha, Mangualde (Furtado 79), Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Edson, Pedrinha (Dedé 64), Paulo Sousa, Wesley, William, Cristiano (Fábio Paim 79).

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha, João Alves, Flávio Meireles, Alan (Moreno 85), Ghilas (Fajardo 89), Desmarets, Mrdakovic (Roberto 65).

FC Porto have sold out their Dragão Stadium (50,000 plus) for Saturday's game against Estrela da Amadora. A win will give Porto the title, regardless of other results.

01/04/08

Vitória de Setúbal reclaimed fourth spot in the Liga Monday with a convincing 3-1 win over Boavista. It was the latter team that went in front on just five minutes, Jorge Ribeiro tucking a free-kick from the right low inside the near post with Eduardo at fault. Boavista were the brighter of the two teams in the first quarter of an hour, but a goal by Bruno Gama on 17 minutes, after some awful defending from the other side, put Vitória level ... and they never looked back. Claudio Pitbull scored a terrific goal on 35 minutes from outside the area, and then scored from the spot on 65 after Luís Loureiro had brought down Elias and seen a red card. Boavista threw everyone forward in the dying minutes to try to claw something back, but the game had slipped out of their grasp.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Robson, Auri, Jorginho (Adalto 46), Elias, Sandro, Ricardo Chaves, Leandro Branco (Filipe Gonçalves 75), Cláudio Pitbull (Bruno Severino 81), Bruno Gama.

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Rissut (Bruno Pinheiro 58), Marcelão, Diakité (Fary 58), Brayan Angulo, Fleurival, Luís Loureiro, Jorge Ribeiro; Hussaine, Mateus, Zé Kalanga.

 

31/03/08

FC Porto will be Champions if they beat Estrela da Amadora at the Dragão next weekend. On Sunday they went behind to a Weldon goal at Belenenses, but the other side of half-time, Lisandro López got his 20th of the season and it was 1-1 until deep into added time, when Ricardo Quaresma invented a foul in the area and Lucho González gave Porto the three points.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Júlio César, Amaral (Fernando 89), Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Ruben Amorim, Gabriel Gomez, Silas (Rafael Bastos 84), José Pedro, Roncatto (João Paulo Oliveira 79), Weldon.

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Lucho, Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles (Kazmierczak 87), Lisandro, Farías (Adriano 67), Quaresma.

Benfica won for the first time at home in the Liga this year, beating Paços de Ferreira 4-1 to go back to second above Vitória de Guimarães. It was ultimately a comfortable victory, but Paços had caused Benfica enough problems for the score to be a little exaggerated. Cristian Rodriguez put Benfica in front on 23 minutes with a swerving shot from 25 metres, but Paços' top scorer Wesley netted from the spot just before the break after Nélson had brought Cristiano down. In the first 20 minutes of the second half, Benfica struggled to regain the upper hand they had had in the first, but a deflected shot from Cardozo put them back on track. Thirty-six-year-old Rui Costa with a long shot on 74 minutes and then again ten minutes later, a rare header, confirmed the final score. Paços remain second from bottom.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Edcarlos, Katsouranis, Léo, Petit, Maxi Pereira (Di Maria 59), Rui Costa, Cristian Rodriguez, Nuno Gomes (Mantorras 79), Cardozo (Binya 86).

Paços de Ferreira: Peçanha, Mangualde, Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Filipe Anunciação, Paulo Sousa, Pedrinha, William (Renato Queirós 81), Wesley (Ricardinho 71), Cristiano (Edson 61).

Sporting won by the same margin as their Lisbon neighbours at Naval, winning away for the first time in three months. Sporting were behind on 11 minutes, Rui Patrício dropping a cross at the feet of Marcelinho. But in a two minute period around the 20-minute mark, Sporting were in front through Miguel Veloso and then Liedson. The latter got his second a quarter of an hour later, and then Yannick Djaló, back from injury, made it four ten minutes from time. Sporting go provisionally fourth, four points behind Benfica and Vitória de Guimarães.

The teams lined up:

Naval: Godeméche, Gaúcho e China; Gilmar e Delfim; Dudu, Davide (João Ribeiro, 46m) e Marinho (Saulo, 70m); Marcelinho.

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Pereirinha (Abel 59), Tonel, Gladstone, Grimi, Miguel Veloso, Izmailov, Romagnoli (Vukcevic 76), João Moutinho, Liedson, Tiuí (Yannick Djaló 46).

Nacional climbed into the top half of the table with a 2-0 win at home to bottom club União de Leiria, Juliano Spadaccio scoring from the spot 20 minutes in, and Fábio Coentrão 20 minutes from the end. Nacional's Cléber was sent off in the first half, União's Harison in the second.

The teams lined up:

Nacional: Bracalli, Patacas, Lopes, Cardozo, Alonso, Fellype Gabriel (Rodrigo 79), Edson, Cléber, Juliano, Fabiano (Fábio Coentrão 16), Lipatin (Haliche 46).

União de Leiria: Fernando, Éder, Bruno Miguel, Hugo Costa (Toñito 52), Patrick, Arvid, Cadu da Silva, Sougou, Harison, Paulo César (Lukasiewicz 76), NGal.

Leixões got a precious point in their fight for survival with a 0-0 draw at Sporting Braga, who will see the gap between them and fifth-placed Setúbal stretched to six points if Vitória can beat Boavista on Monday. Leixões are third from bottom, three points ahead of Paços.

The teams lined up:

Sporting Braga: Kieszek, João Pereira, Rodriguez, Paulo Jorge, Carlos Fernandes, Pablo Contreras (Stélvio 79), Roberto Brum (Frechaut 61), Vandinho (Linz 46), José Manuel, Jaílson, Matheus.

Leixões: Beto, Filipe Oliveira, Joel, Nuno Amaro, Nuno Silva, Bruno China, Hugo Morais, Jaime (Paulo Machado 56), Jorge Gonçalves (Vieirinha 67), Roberto, Castanheira (Pedro Cervantes 75).

30/03/08

Estrela da Amadora got three valuable points in their fight against relegation on Saturday, beating rivals Académica 3-1. Anselmo started them off on 16 minutes, Lito equalised for Os Estudantes five minutes later and giant Maurício restored Estrela's lead with a trademark header ten minutes after that, Académica's Vítor Vinha being sent off in the meantime. Moreno confirmed the win ten minutes from time.

The teams lined up:

Estrela da Amadora: Nelson, Rui Duarte, Hugo Carreira, Maurício, Hélder Cabral, Fernando, Celestino (Giancarlo 62), Mendonça (Pedro Pereira 53), Tiago Gomes, Mateus, Anselmo (Moreno 75).

Académica: Pedro Roma, Pedrinho, Orlando, Káká, Vítor Vinha, Paulo Sérgio, Miguel Pedro (Berger 37), Lito, Nuno Piloto (Tiero 61), Luís Aguiar (Ivanildo 65), Joeano.

29/03/08

Vitória de Guimarães went second in the Liga on Friday with a 1-0 home win over Marítimo. Vitória had the best chances in the game, but left it until two minutes from time to take the points through sub Roberto.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha (Carlitos 77), João Alves, Flávio Meireles, Alan, Ghilas (Fajardo 72), Desmarets, Mrdakovic (Roberto 61).

Marítimo: Marcos, Briguel, Gregory, Van der Linden, Evaldo, Olberdam, Bruno (João Luiz 75), Mossoró, Marcinho, Fábio Felício (Djalma 74), Bruno Fogaça (Kanu 65).

18/03/08

Sporting and Nacional arrived at half time tied 0-0 in the final game of the 23rd jornada on Monday. In ten crazy minutes early in the second half, however, Sporting were 4-0 up through Liedson (x 2), Moutinho and Yannick, making his return after injury. Lipatin got a consolation for a shell-shocked Nacional a minute from time. Romagnoli missed a penalty for Sporting. The result takes Sporting up to 5th, equal on points with Vitória de Setúbal and four points off the Champions League places (occupied by Benfica and Vitória de Guimarães).

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Gladstone, Polga, Ronny, Pereirinha, Adrien, João Moutinho (Farnerud 76), Romagnoli, Liedson, Tiuí (Vukcevic 46).

Nacional: Bracalli, Patacas, Cardozo, Ricardo Fernandes, Alonso, Edson, Cléber, Juliano, Fellype Gabriel (Juninho 68), Lipatin, Fábio Coentrão (Rodrigo 66).

17/03/08

Benfica held on to their second place in the Liga Sunday with a 1-1 draw at Marítimo. Showing line up changes at the kick-off, Benfica managed to conceal recent weaknesses in the first half, with Cardozo heading them in front on 25 minutes. But in the second half, Marítimo were in charge and drew level a quarter of an hour from the end, 20-year-old sub Ytalo running onto a through ball and prodding past Quim for his first touch and first goal on his début.

The teams lined up:

Marítimo: Marcos, Ricardo Esteves (Briguel 50,), Gregory, Van der Linden, Evaldo, Bruno, Olberdam, Marcinho, Mossoró, Fábio Felício (Djalma 62), Baba (Ytalo 73).

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Edcarlos, Katsouranis, Léo, Petit, Binya, Luís Filipe (Rui Costa 60), Cristian Rodriguez, Sepsi (Maxi Pereira 71), Cardozo.

Lopes put through his own goal after just 33 seconds to give Sporting Braga the lead over Naval, and Wender and Jailson added to the score to make it 3-0 and keep Braga 6th in the Liga.

Mateus and Jorge Ribeiro put Boavista in front against Estrela da Amadora, both goals coming in the second half. Giancarlo pulled one back for Estrela, and the Lisbon club had a legitimate call for a penalty, a foul by 'keeper Jehle on Anselmo, turned down.

Edson got one goal midway through the first half and another on the hour to give Paços de Ferreira an unexpected lead over form side Vitória de Setúbal, and despite a late goal by Ricardo Chaves, it was second-from-bottom Paços who took all three points to keep their hopes of survival alive.

16/03/08

Roberto put Leixões in front in the second half at home to FC Porto, but the irrepressible Porto found a way back and claimed all three points through Lisandro López and Tarik .

The teams lined up:

Leixões: Beto, Nuno Silva (Pedro Cervantes 75), Joel, Elvis, Nuno Amaro, Bruno China, Filipe Oliveira, Castanheira, Jorge Gonçalves, Hugo Morais (Jorge Duarte 63), Roberto (Diogo Valente 78).

FC Porto: Helton, Fucile, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Marek Cech (Kazmierczak 78), Raul Meireles, João Paulo (Tarik Sektioui 55), Lucho Gonzalez, Ricardo Quaresma, Ernesto Farias (Adriano 68), Lisandro Lopez.

Académica drew at home to Belenenses, neither side managing a goal. Belenenses' Cândido Costa, who had scored Boavista's winner with an own goal last Monday, was again unfortunate, getting a red card on the hour.

15/03/08

Vitória de Guimarães jumped to second in the Liga Friday with a 1-0 win at doomed but motivated União de Leiria, who were coming off the back of an excellent draw at the Luz which forced the exit of Benfica coach José António Camacho. Chances were shared in the first half, but the decisive goal came on 67 minutes, an unmarked Ghilas at the back post meeting an Alan cross from the right to help Vitória on their way to an increasingly possible Champions League place.

The teams lined up:

União de Leiria: Fernando, Éder, Bruno Miguel, Hugo Costa, Patrick, Arvid (Cadu 70), Tiago, Faria (Tonito 65), Harison, N´Gal, Paulo César.

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha, João Alves, Flávio Meireles, Alan (Fajardo 82), Ghilas (Moreno 88), Desmarets, Mrdakovic (Roberto 61).

11/03/08

Belenenses missed the opportunity to move into the European places Monday, losing 2-3 at home to an improving Boavista. Belenenses haven't beaten Boavista at home since 1994, but they looked on track to breaking the fast after a quarter of an hour, Silas driving through Jehle after the Boavista defence had failed to clear a Rodrigo Alvim cross from the left. Belenenses deserved the lead – Boavista's first shot on goal had come only after ten minutes – but Jorge Ribeiro's thunderous shot from 25 metres ten minutes later fully deserved to be an equaliser. Then on 38 minutes, the same Ribeiro drove a corner to the back post where Luís Loureiro rose to crash home a header and put his side in front. There was still time before the break for Belenenses to draw back level, Weldon heading in from a José Pedro corner.

The game lost quality in the second half as legs became tired on the sodden pitch, and the nature of Boavista's eventual winner on the hour was indicative of this: Mateus was freed down the right, and his hopeful, low cross was turned into his own goal by Cândido Costa. It was Boavista's first away win of the season.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Júlio César, Cândido Costa, Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Gomez (Marco Ferreira 46), Ruben Amorim (Jankauskas 77), Silas, José Pedro, Weldon, Roncatto (João Paulo 77).

Boavista: Jehle, Rissut, Moisés, Araújo (Bruno Pinheiro 46) Angulo, Fleurival, Luís Loureiro, Jorge Ribeiro, Zé Kalanga (Gilberto 81), Laionel (Hussaine 60), Mateus.

10/03/08

Ricardo Quaresma got the only goal on the half-hour in FC Porto's 1-0 win over Académica on Sunday. It could have been more, but the one goal, a swinging shot from the edge of the area that Pedro Roma might have stopped, was enough. Porto's Mariano was sent off on the stroke of time, ten minutes after he had come on as sub.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Fucile, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Cech, Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles (Lino 90), Lucho, Tarik (Farias 71), Lisandro, Quaresma (Mariano 80).

Académica: Pedro Roma, Pedro Costa, Orlando, Kaká, Cléber (Lito 75), Paulo Sérgio, Tiero (Ivanildo 46), Nuno Piloto, Joeano, Cris (Miguel Pedro 46), Luís Aguiar.

Benfica drew 2-2 at home to bottom club União de Leiria, prompting the resignation of Spanish coach José António Camacho. União outplayed the home side during long periods, which belied the respective positions in the Liga. Paulo César put União in front just before the break. Central defender Zoro equalised on 51 minutes, and it all seemed settled five minutes later when Cardozo put Benfica in front. But a spirited Leiria, who only had their pride to play for, drew level on 70 minutes with an excellent counter attack, Harison putting N'Gal through to round Quim and tuck the ball in.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim; Luís Filipe, Zoro (Sepsi 73), Edcarlos, Léo, Di María (Nuno Assis 79m), Rui Costa, Bynia, Rodriguez, Nuno Gomes (Mantorras 79), Cardozo

União de Leiria: Fernando, Éder Gaúcho, Bruno Miguel, Hugo Costa, Patrick, Tiago (Lukasiewicz 82), Harison, Arvid, Ngal, Sougou (Toñito 83), Paulo César (Faria 90)

Sporting were outplayed in front of 27,000 at Guimarães and went down 0-2. Sereno got the first just before the break, knocking the ball almost accidentally in after Sporting 'keeper Rui Patrício had palmed the ball out to him, and sub Fajardo finished Sporting off in added time at the end after a smooth counter-attack and a set-up in front of goal from Moreno. Sporting's Grimi was sent off with a straight red five minutes from time.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Momha, Flávio Meireles, João Alves (Fajardo 90), Alan, Ghilas (Roberto 83), Desmarets, Mrdakovic (Moreno,76)

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Miguel Veloso 68) Tonel, Polga, Grimi, Izmailov, Adrien (Pereirinha 55), Romagnoli, João Moutinho, Vukcevic, Purovic (Tiuí 7)

In the other Liga game of the day, Naval beat Leixões 2-1, Saulo putting them in front before Roberto equalised for the visitors. Leixões defender Ezequias was sent off seven minutes into the second half, and Naval clinched all three points through Marcelinho fifteen miutes from time.

09/03/08

Sporting Braga broke a run of eight straight games without a win by beating Nacional 1-0 in Madeira Saturday. In a very even game, it took a free kick from out on the left by José Manuel on 26 minutes, which missed heads and feet near goal before finding its way inside the far post, to break the deadlock. The nearest Nacional came to equalising was a fierce shot in the second half by sub Fábio Coentrão that rattled the bar.

The teams lined up:

Nacional: Bracali, Patacas, Ricardo Fernandes, Cardozo, Alonso, Cléber, Edson, Juliano, Juninho (Lipatin 54), Rodrigo (Adriano 83), Pateiro (Fábio Coentrão (54)

Sporting Braga: Kieszek, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Rodriguez, Carlos Fernandes, Contreras (Frechaut 75), Roberto Brum, José Manuel (Andrés Madrid 66) César Peixoto, Wender (Matheus 58), Jaílson

Anselmo got Estrela da Amadora's goal in a 1-0 win at home to Paços de Ferreira, who remain firmly rooted second from bottom.

09/03/08

Vitória de Setúbal went provisionally third with a 1-0 win over Marítimo on Friday. Cláudio Pitbull scored from the spot on 77 minutes after Bruno had brought Sandro down in the box.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Robson, Auri, Jorginho, Elias (Filipe Gonçalves 89), Sandro, Ricardo Chaves, Bruno Gama (Bruno Severino 60), Kim (Leandro 46), Cláudio Pitbull.

Marítimo: Marcos, Ricardo Esteves, Ediglê, Van der Linden, Evaldo, Djalma, Bruno, Olberdam, Fábio Felício (João Luiz 79), Mossoró (Marcinho 84), Kanu (Baba 78).

04/03/08

Paços de Ferreira went one-up through William on ten minutes at home to Belenenses on Monday, but their momentum was dealt a damaging blow on 20 when Rovérsio was sent off for bringing down Rocatto in the box; José Pedro scored from the spot. Peçanha put through his own goal five minutes from half-time to hand Belenenses all three points. Paços remain in terrible trouble, second from bottom.

The teams lined up:

Paços de Ferreira: Peçanha, Ferreira (Pedrinha 53), Rovérsio, Kiko, Chico Silva, Dedé (Carlos Carneiro 70), Paulo Sousa; Edson, Wesley, Cristiano, William (Luiz Carlos 30).

Belenenses: Júlio César, Cândido Costa, Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Gomez (Marco Ferreira 81), Ruben Amorim, José Pedro, Silas, Weldon (Jankauskas 72), Roncatto.

03/03/08

Sporting and Benfica drew 1-1 Sunday in the Lisbon derby in front of around 40,000. Sporting got off to a roaring start and were smothering a disorganised Benfica, especially down the left, and after Vukcevic headed home on ten minutes, Sporting fans might have thought that a thrashing was on the cards. Slowly but surely, however, Benfica began to come round, culminating in a Cardozo header from a Rui Costa corner on 38 minutes. It was the way the score finished, but it might have been a different story if Cardozo, for an elbow in Tonel's face, and Katsouranis, for a karate kick on João Moutinho, had been sent off. A quarter of an hour from the end, Benfica did have a player sent off, Nélson going for a two-footed lunge at Celsinho. Earlier, Vukcevic appeared to have been fouled inside the penalty area by Léo, but nothing was given. Sporting, then, may have some reason to complain about Paulo Paraty's refereeing, but the fact is that they did not take advantage of their early dominance and the numerical superiority for the last 15 minutes and thus remain five points off their Lisbon rivals, slipping into fifth place behind FC Porto, Benfica, Vitória de Guimarães and Vitória de Setúbal.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Purovic 77), Tonel, Polga, Grimi, Pereirinha, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Izmailov (Celsinho 69), Tiuí, Vukcevic.

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Edcarlos, Katsouranis, Léo, Maxi Pereira, Binya, Di Maria (Sepsi 74), Rui Costa (Luís Filipe 90), Cristian Rodriguez (Zoro 87), Cardozo.

Estrela da Amadora's towering central defender Maurício put them in front at Marítimo with a first-half header from a corner. Estrela were reduced to ten just before half-time, Mendonça going for allegedly hitting Ricardo Esteves. Marítimo managed a second-half equaliser from the spot through Bruno.

It was a day of 1-1 draws because that's how the other game, Naval at home to Nacional, finished. Juliano scored a penalty just before the break, while Marcelinho gave Naval a point in the second half.

02/03/08

FC Porto travelled across town to a pleasantly well-filled Bessa (20,000 +) to draw 0-0 with Boavista Saturday. Porto rested most of their first team side and, perhaps because of this, Boavista produced some of their best football of the season. While there were no goals, Ricardo Quaresma, on as sub in the second half and playing in a central midfield role, did rattle the crossbar with a dipping shot that had Peter Jehle beaten.

The teams lined up:

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Gilberto Silva, Moisés, Marcelão, Brayan Angulo, Fleurival, Diakité, Jorge Ribeiro (Bruno Pinheiro 87), Zé Kalanga (Luís Loureiro 78), Laionel (Hussaine 67), Mateus.

FC Porto: Helton. Fucile, Stepanov, João Paulo. Marek Cech. Lucho Gonzalez (Ricardo Quaresma 46), Paulo Assunção (Raul Meireles 77), Kazmierczak. Mariano Gonzalez. Adriano, Farias (Tarik Sektioui 70).

In front of just 725 spectators at União de Leiria, Claudio Pitbull on nine minutes and Bruno Gama on 74 put Vitória de Setúbal into fourth in the Liga, above Sporting.

Leixões went in front against Académica from the spot, Roberto striking home a penalty on 19 minutes. Five minutes later, Joeano diverted a shot in for Académica's equaliser, and the same player put Académica in front on the hour. Leixões had a second penalty just before the final whistle, this time scored by Jorge Gonçalves, which gave them a point.

01/03/08

In the Minho derby, Sporting Braga and Vitória de Guimarães opened the 21st jornada with a 0-0 draw Friday. The teams provided a good spectacle for a full house at Braga's AXA Stadium, but the nearest either came to a goal was through Braga's Linz, who hit a post early in the second half. Braga have not won in the last eight Liga games, while third-place Guimarães put two points between themselves and Sporting, who play Benfica on Sunday.

The teams lined up:

Sporting Braga: Kieszek, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Rodriguez, Miguelito, Roberto Brum, Contreras, José Manuel (Matheus 57), César Peixoto (Stélvio 70), Wender (Jailson 78), Linz.

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson; Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Desmarets, Flávio Meireles, João Alves, Carlitos (Roberto 70), Ghilas (Fajardo 79), Alan, Mrdakovic (Momha 61).

 

26/02/08

Académica and Boavista drew 1-1 Monday in the last game of the 20th jornada. Académica shaded it in terms of objective, sustained play, but Boavista were always dangerous on the break with quick Angolan wingers Mateus and Zé Kalanga. The score was decided in a two-minute period around the hour mark, with Académica taking the lead through an excellent header by Kaká and Boavista responding almost immediately, Mateus stooping to head in a Jorge Ribeiro cross. Académica go 12th, Boavista remain in 10th.

The teams lined up:

Académica: Pedro Roma, Pedrinho, Orlando, Kaká, Vítor Vinha; Pavlovic (Paulo Sérgio 31), Nuno Piloto, Cris, Ivanildo (Miguel Pedro 46), Lito (Tiero 70), Edgar.

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Bruno Pinheiro (Hussaine 24), Moisés, Marcelão, Ângulo, Fleurival, Luís Loureiro, Jorge Ribeiro, Laionel (Gilberto 65), Charles Obi (Zè Kalanga 46), Mateus.

25/02/08

A howler from 'keeper Rui Patrício, who let a speculative shot by Bruno Ribeiro on 18 minutes slip through his fingers, was enough to give the excellent Vitória de Setúbal a 1-0 home win over Sporting on Sunday. Sporting had a perfectly good goal by Tonel disallowed beforehand for offside, but having said that, they were the second best team on the pitch for long spells of the game.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Robson, Auri, Jorginho, Elias, Bruno Ribeiro (Paulinho 68), Ricardo Chaves, Leandro (Bruno Severino 63), Filipe Gonçalves (Hugo 91), Bruno Gama.

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Pedro Silva (Celsinho 46), Tonel, Anderson Polga, Grimi, Pereirinha, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Farnerud (Adrien 73), Liedson, Purovic (Tiuí 60).

Sporting slip to fourth, one point behind Vitória de Guimarães, five behind Lisbon rivals Benfica and 17 (!) behind FC Porto.

Benfica could only draw 1-1 at home to Sporting Braga, who went in front on four minutes: a shot by César Peixoto was palmed away by Quim but only to José Manuel , who made no mistake at the back post. Brazilian central defender Luisão headed in a Rui Costa corner on 20 to bring Benfica level, but although they dominated for much of the rest of the game, they could not translate their superiority into goals.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Luisão, Katsouranis, Léo, Binya, Petit (Sepsi 65), Nuno Assis (Freddy Adu 84), Rui Costa, Di Maria (Mantorras 78), Cardozo.

Sporting Braga: Kieszek, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Rodríguez, Miguelito, Contreras, Brum, Zé Manuel (Wender 61), César Peixoto (Frechaut 50), Matheus, Linz (Jaílson 72).

A resurgent Nacional beat Leixões 1-0 in Madeira but they left it to seven minutes from time, Juliano Spadacio getting the all-important goal.

24/02/08

FC Porto march on in the Liga. This time the victims were second from bottom club Paços de Ferreira who were plucky enough but were no match for Porto's ruthless finishing. Argentinian striker Lisandro López, the Liga's top scorer, got another couple either side of half-time and compatriot Mariano González got his first of the season in a 3-0 win.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Marek Cech, Paulo Assunção, Lucho, Raúl Meireles (Mariano Gonzalez 77), Tarik (Kazmierczak 87) Farias, Lisandro (Hélder Barbosa 79).

Paços de Ferreira: Peçanha, Mangualde, Rovérsio, Kiko, Ferreira, Paulo Sousa, Filipe Anunciação, Pedrinha (Dedé 54), Wesley (Renato Queiroz 76), Edson (Furtado 66), Cristiano.

Weldon gave Belenenses the lead on a quarter of an hour at home to Marítimo, but on the half-hour, Belenenses 'keeper Costinha was deemed to have floored Kanu (the TV slo mo showed that he had not) and was sent off; Bruno equalised from the spot. Belenenses never got their game back together and Marítimo made their numerical superiority pay with two more, from Marcinho and Mossoró to make the final score 1-3.

Estrela da Amadora performed a miraculous comeback at home to bottom club União de Leiria. União were two up at half time through Paulo César and Ferreira, but in the second half, Mendonça, Anselmo with two and an own goal by Éder near the end gave Estrela a surprising 4-2 win.

23/02/08

A free kick from Desmarets on 22 minutes at home to Naval was enough to take Vitória de Guimarães into third spot Friday, above Sporting but behind FC Porto and Benfica.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Desmarets, Flávio Meireles, João Alves, Carlitos (Fajardo 66), Ghilas (Moreno 77), Alan, Mrdakovic (Roberto 80).

Naval: Wilson Júnior, Mário Sérgio, Paulão, Diego, China, Godemeche, Gilmar, Saulo (Marinho 46), Davide (Elivelton 65), João Ribeiro (Hugo Santos 46).

19/02/08

União de Leiria lost again Monday, this time 1-2 at home to Belenenses in front of just 600. Weldon gave the visitors the lead on 11 minutes and made it two on 68, heading home a José Pedro corner. Harison gave União a bit of hope on 71, but that was all it was and their situation, rooted to the bottom of the table, now looks hopeless. Belenenses, on the other hand, move up to fifth, although they still have the spectre hanging over them of a possible docking of six points for the illegal use of Meyong last month.

The teams lined up:

União de Leiria: Fernando, Éder, Lukasiewicz, Bruno Miguel, Alhandra (Marcelinho 72), Arvid, Cadú (Sougou 30), Harison, Faria, Paulo César (Ferreira 65), João Paulo.

Belenenses: Costinha, Cândido Costa (Marco Ferreira 88), Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Ruben Amorim, Gabriel Gómez (Devic 75), Silas, José Pedro, Roncatto (Jankauskas 75), Weldon.

18/02/08

Benfica retained second place in the Liga Sunday with a 2-0 win at Naval. Until the final part of the game, Naval always looked the more coherent side but were one down on 18 minutes, Cristian Rodríguez looping in a header from the edge of the area from a (foul) throw by Binya. That was the way it stayed until added time in the second half, subs Sepsi, making his début, and Rui Costa combining well on the left, with the full-back making the line and cutting the ball back for Nuno Assis to stroke it home. There were over 40 fouls in the game … and not a single card.

The teams lined up:

Naval: Wilson Júnior, Mário Sérgio (Marinho 74), Paulão, Diego Ângelo, Igor (Dudu 63), Gilmar, Godeméche, Saulo (Elivelton 74), Davide, João Ribeiro, Marcelinho.

Benfica: Quim, Luís Filipe, Luisão, Katsouranis, Léo, Maxi Pereira, Binya, Nuno Assis, Rodriguez (Adu 72 (then Sepsi 89), Makukula, Cardozo (Rui Costa 84).

Sporting jumped over Vitória de Guimarães and into third place after beating Estrela da Amadora 2-0 at a rain-soaked Alvalade. João Moutinho curled a shot past Nélson from the edge of the area on 16 minutes and Liedson got his first Liga goal in nine games a quarter of an hour from the end, tapping in a ball dropped by Pedro Alves. Alves substituted Nélson on the hour after the Estrela 'keeper had floored Tiuí on his way to goal; Anderson Polga failed from the spot. Estrela were already down to ten men after Hélder Cabral had seen a second yellow five minutes from half time. Down to nine for half an hour, Estrela never stood a chance, but the fact is that Sporting should have made more of the situation.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Pedro Silva 68), Tonel, Polga, Ronny, Miguel Veloso, Pereirinha, Celsinho (Romagnoli 46), João Moutinho, Liedson, Tiuí (Farnerud 78).

Estrela da Amadora: Nélson, Rui Duarte, Wagão, Maurício, Hélder Cabral, Celestino, Fernando, Marco Paulo (Hugo Carreira 46), Vítor Moreno, Mendonça (Giancarlo 79), Mateus (Pedro Alves 58).

Fabiano Oliveira got Nacional's winner (1-0) on 52 minutes at home to Vitória de Guimarães, in a match that had been suspended on Saturday night after 33 minutes due to thick fog. At the final whistle, there was a tussle on the pitch between National coach Jokanovic and his opposite number Manuel Cajuda; the Vitória president has called for Jokanovic to be banned from football, and also claimed that his players had been the victims of aggression by the police

The white handkerchiefs were out at Sporting Braga where the home team went down 2-3 to Vitória de Setúbal, who they have now lost three times to this season. Vitória were in front on 12 minutes, Robson finishing off a Pitbull free kick. On 26 minutes, Eduardo dropped an easy ball and Linz was on hand to bundle it in for a Braga equaliser. But Vitória were back ahead five minutes from half time, Ricardo Chaves heading in another Pitbull free. Fifteen minutes from time, Elias extended the visitors' lead. Jaílson got a late goal for Braga, but the whistles and handkerchiefs at the end do not augur well for Braga coach Manuel Machado.

Académica took the lead ten minutes from time through Lito in their bottom-of-the-table clash at Paços de Ferreira, but just when it looked like Os Estudantes might take all three points, up popped the inevitable Wesley to savage a point for Paços, whose coach José Mota had earlier been sent off.

17/02/08

Leixões and Boavista slogged out a 2-2 draw Saturday, all the goals coming in the second half. Charles Obi, making his début, put Boavista ahead on 55 minutes from a Jorge Ribeiro free kick, but then two goals in ten minutes from Jorge Gonçalves gave Leixões the advantage. Boavista did not throw in the towel, however, and in added time, Hussaine crossed from the left, the ball made its way through to Marcelão, unmarked at the back post, and the Brazilian centre-back struck it calmly home for his 6th of the season.

The other game of the evening between Nacional and Vitória de Guimarães was suspended on 33 minutes because of thick fog. The game will be resumed on Sunday.

16/02/08

FC Porto ensured their ten point lead at the top of the Liga Friday with a comfortable 3-0 win over Marítimo in Madeira. The Liga's top scorer Lisandro López was in excellent form with two goals, the first in added time before the break. Tarik, on as sub, put Porto two-up on 68 minutes, bundling the ball in after Lisandro had been fouled. Lisandro got the third, his 16th Liga goal of the season and the fifth time he has scored two in a game, eight minutes from the end after a brilliant counter attack from Porto involving, notably, Quaresma and Lucho González. Marítimo's Djalma saw a second yellow on the hour.

Marítimo: Marcos, Ricardo Esteves, Ediglê, Van der Linden, Evaldo, Bruno, João Luiz, Mossoró (Gonçalo 74), Marcinho, Djalma, André Pinto (Kanu 63).

FC Porto: Helton, Fucile (João Paulo 70), Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Marek Cech, Lucho Gonzalez, Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles (Kazmierczak 72), Farias (Tarik Sektioui 65), Lisandro Lopez, Ricardo Quaresma.

05/02/08

Vitória de Setúbal put in a rare weak performance Monday to lose 1-2 at home to improving Naval. The visitors went in front on 37 minutes through Marcelinho and Marinho extended the lead ten minutes into the second half. Bruno Severino reduced two minutes later, but Vitória looked tired and could not go that extra mile. They drop to seventh in the Liga.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Robson, Auri, Adalto (Jorginho 63), Elias, Sandro, Ricardo Chaves (Filipe Gonçalves 46), Leandro, Pitbull, Paulinho (Bruno Severino 46).

Naval: Wilson Júnior, Mário Sérgio, Paulão, Diego, China, Gilmar (Godemeche 81), Delfim, Saulo (Marinho 11), Davide (Dudu 67), João Ribeiro, Marcelinho.

04/02/08

Sporting slipped up (0-1) at Lisbon neighbours Belenenses Sunday to fall further behind FC Porto and Benfica, and to lose third place to Vitória de Guimarães. It was a fine goal by José Pedro on 38 minutes, latching onto a pass on the right and, with acres of space, striding on and cracking the ball into the top right-hand corner from 25 metres. Sporting hit the post twice from free-kicks (Ronny and Miguel Veloso), but their play was disjointed and coach Paulo Bento and striker Liedson agreed after the game that they had not deserved any more. The game marked the début of Brazilian striker Tiuí on at half time for Sporting, and while he didn't make a concrete difference, he did show some nice touches that augur well for the future.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Costinha, Mano, Hugo Alcântara, Devic, Rolando, Rodrigo Alvim, Silas, Ruben Amorim (Cândido Costa 46), José Pedro, Weldon (Evandro 51), Roncatto (Areias 90).

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel (Pereirinha 62), Tonel, Gladstone, Ronny (Celsinho 72), João Moutinho, Miguel Veloso, Romagnoli, Izmailov (Tiuí 46), Liedson, Vukcevic.

Vitória de Guimarães moved into third with a 2-1 home win over Leixões. It was the visitors that went in front on 14 minutes through Jorge Gonçalves, but Vitória kept on plugging away and turned the game round in the last ten minutes, with goals from debutants Marquinho and Roberto. Jaime for Leixões and Sereno for the home side were sent off.

There was a ding-dong battle at the Bessa, where Boavista ended up 4-3 winners over Paços de Ferreira. They were behind on seven minutes to a Ferreira goal, but Brazilian forward Laionel, in inspired form, got a hat-trick, with Jorge Ribeiro adding another. Paços' other goals were scored by Wesley and Cristiano.

Académica ran out 1-0 winners over Marítimo, who showed they missed strikers Makukula (transferred to Benfica) and Bruno Fogaça (injured in the first half). Académica's goal came after just four minutes through Edgar, on loan from FC Porto.

03/02/08

FC Porto bounced back from their defeat at Sporting last weekend to trounce bottom club União de Leiria 4-0 in front of 32,000 at the Estádio do Dragão. The avalanche was started off on 17 minutes by full back Bosingwa, although his shot deflected off Farías, in an off-side position, and the goal should have been disallowed. Making his first start for Porto, Farías it was who got the second seven minutes later, heading in a Quaresma cross from the left. Just before half-time, Argentinian striker Lisandro López did a neat one-two with compatriot Lucho González to run on and flick the ball past the oncoming Fernando for his 14th of the season, and the game was as good as over. On the hour, the Argentinian Farías got his second, once again heading in a Quaresma cross. Thirty-three points separated the two sides before the game; it is now 36.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Lucho (Mariano Gonzalez 63), Paulo Assunção (Castro 79), Raul Meireles, Quaresma, Farias (Adriano 76), Lisandro.

União de Leiria: Fernando, Éder, Lukasiewicz, Éder Gaúcho, Laranjeiro, Arvid, Cadú (Toñito 59), Faria, Harison, Alhandra (Paulo César 34), Marcelinho.

Porto extended their lead over the second-placed club to ten points because the second-placed club is Benfica and they could do no more than draw 0-0 at home to Nacional, who looked the better side for much of the first half. In the second half, Benfica put on a little more pressure, but it was all very slipshod stuff and the draw was no more than they deserved. At the end, there were whistles and white handkerchiefs for Spanish coach José António Camacho from some of the 32,000 in the Luz.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Luís Filipe, Luisão, Edcarlos, Nélson (Léo 67), Petit, Katsouranis, Maxi Pereira, Di María (Mantorras 79), Nuno Gomes (Cristián Rodríguez 40), Cardozo.

Nacional: Bracalli, Patacas, Ricardo Fernandes, Cardozo, Alonso, Cléber, Juliano, Edson, Juninho (Adriano 68), Fábio Coentrão (Pateiro 74), Rodrigo (Lipatin 63).

02/02/08

Estrela da Amadora and Sporting Braga opened the 18th jornada with a 1-1 draw. The game was relatively uneventful until ten minutes from time when Jorginho half-volleyed a half-cleared ball from the edge of the area, a deflection off Fernando sending the ball past Nélson. Braga thought they had revenge for the recent cup defeat to Estrela, but in added time, César Peixoto, on as sub on 70 minutes, saw a stupid second yellow when he hit the ball into the 'crowd' (no more than 1,000) after the whistle had gone for offside. Braga were rattled and as Estrela put on some last-gasp pressure, Miguelito brought down Rui Pedro and Fernando gave his side a point from the spot.

Estrela Da Amadora: Nélson, Rui Duarte, Wagnão, Maurício, Hélder Cabral, Fernando, Celestino (Pedro Pereira 46), Marco Paulo, Moreno (Adul 67), Mateus (Rui Pedro 82), Anselmo.

Sporting Braga: Paulo Santos, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Contreras, Miguelito, Frechaut, Vandinho, Wender (César Peixoto 71), Jorginho, Matheus (José Manuel 58), Linz (João Tomás 82).

 

29/01/08

Marítimo moved into the European places Monday with a convincing 2-0 win over Boavista. The Madeiran side were always superior to a Boavista with few ideas, and they had the game sewn up by the break, Makukula and Djalma getting the goals on 33 and 44 minutes respectively. It was Makukula's last game for Marítimo before (by all accounts) joining Benfica, and he received a standing ovation when substituted 15 minutes from the end.

The teams lined up:

Marítimo: Marcos, Ricardo Esteves, Ediglê, Van der Linden, Luís Olim, João Luiz, Bruno (Tito 88), Mossoró, Djalma, Makukula (Bruno Fogaça 77), Marcinho (Fábio Felício 85)

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Gilberto (Ivan 46), Ricardo Silva, Marcelão, Mário Silva, Diakité, Rissut, Luís Loureiro (Fleurival 70), Laionel (Hugo Monteiro 46), Fary, Jorge Ribeiro

28/01/08

Sporting regained third place in the Liga from Vitória de Guimarães Sunday with a hard-fought 2-0 win over leaders FC Porto. It took just two minutes before the quarter of an hour was up for Sporting to decide the game: first Vukcevic with a snap shot that went through Hélton's legs, and then Izmailov heading in from close range after Hélton had parried a cross. Porto had a Lisandro López goal disallowed, a Farias header that hit the bar and a Lucho González effort that was cleared off the line by Anderson Polga, but Sporting, with one of their best performances of the season, deserved the points for their pressing game that nullified key players like Quaresma and Lucho.

The teams lined up:

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Pereirinha, Tonel, Polga, Ronny, Miguel Veloso, Izmailov, João Moutinho, Romagnoli (Farnerud 74), Vukcevic (Gladstone 89), Liedson (Celsinho 85).

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Fucile, Paulo Assunção, Raúl Meireles (Mariano 69), Lucho, Cech (Farias 45), Ricardo Quaresma (Hélder Barbosa 82), Lisandro.

Vitória de Setúbal drew 0-0 at Nacional of Madeira and are in fifth, one point ahead of Sporting Braga.

União de Leiria won their first game of the season (from 17!), beating Académica 3-1 at home. João Paulo got two of the goals, Laranjeira the other from the spot, while Edgar got a consolation for Os Estudantes in the dying minutes.

Paços de Ferreira's Pedrinha missed a penalty (saved by Beto) just before the break at Leixões and it was the home side that got the points through Roberto in the second half.

Marcelinho put Naval in front on 20 minutes at home to Estrela da Amadora, but Estrela managed a point with an equaliser near time through Moreno.

28/01/08

Benfica prevented Vitória de Guimarães from leapfrogging over them into second place Saturday with a 3-1 win in the north of Portugal. Vitória were a shadow of the team that has got them to the top places and came up against a determined Benfica side that was in front as early as the eighth minute, Paraguayan striker Cardozo curling in a superb free-kick from a good 25 metres. Benfica were two-up on 27 minutes when Andrezinho misjudged a through pass on the left that let di Maria in, and the Argentinian's low cross was side-footed in by Maxi Pereira from close range. Ghilas put Vitória back in the game on the hour, but Cardozo got a second for Benfica in added time.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Luciano Amaral (Roberto 61), Flávio Meireles, João Alves (Ghilas 46m), Alan, Fajardo (Carlitos 46), Desmarets, Mrdakovic

Benfica: Quim, Luís Filipe, Edcarlos, David Luiz (Nuno Assis 45), Nélson, Petit, Katsouranis, Maxi Pereira, Rui Costa (Nuno Gomes 85), Di María (Freddy Adu 70), Cardozo

26/0/08

Sporting Braga and Belenenses drew 1-1 in the opening game of the 17th jornada Friday. It was the visitors who went in front five minutes from half-time, central defender Rolando following up a Weldon header that had hit the post. Braga were booed off the pitch by their fans at the break but came back a little more focussed and drew level twenty minutes in, Roland Linz diving to head in from a Wender cross.

The teams lined up:

Sporting Braga: Paulo Santos, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Contreras, Miguelito, Roberto Brum (César Peixoto 46), Frechaut, Jorginho (João Tomás 58), Vandinho, Wender (Jailson 89), Linz.

Belenenses: Costinha, Cândido Costa, Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Rúben Amorim, Gomez (Devic 88), Silas (Marco Ferreira 88), Weldon (João Paulo 90), José Pedro, Roncatto.

Sunday's sell-out clássico between Sporting and FC Porto will be controlled by 365 stewards and 500 police officers, Sporting have announced.

After the on-line gambling company BWin, the Liga has a new sponsor: Sagres, one of the two best selling beers in Portugal (the other is SuperBock). BWin will remain as an official partner.

25/01/08

There are just 5,000 tickets left to sell for Sunday's clássico between Sporting and FC Porto. Alvalade XXI has a capacity of over 50,000.

15/01/08

Vitória de Guimarães climbed to third in the table by beating rivals Vitória de Setúbal 1-0 at Bonfim Monday, but Setúbal are justified in their claims that the Guimarães goal was irregular, Mrdakovic appearing to be in an offside position before knocking in a fumbled catch from Eduardo on the hour.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Robson, Auri, Adalto, Elias, Sandro, Ricardo Chaves (Leandro Branco 73), Filipe Gonçalves (Edinho 46), Pitbull, Matheus (Bruno Gama 70).

Vitória de Guimarães: Nilson, Andrezinho, Sereno, Geromel, Luciano Amaral, Flávio Meireles, João Alves, Alan, Fajardo (Moreno 70), Desmarets (Ghilas 77), Mrdakovic (Carlitos 77).

Belenenses may be docked six points after they played new signing Meyong on Sunday. The Cameroonian striker has played for Albacete, Levante (both of Spain) and now Belenenses this season. FIFA regulations state that although a player may be registered with three clubs during a season, he may only actually play for two of them. Naval have already claimed the three points from the 1-2 defeat in summer, and the Football Federation have been quick to claim that they are not in the wrong, saying that they allowed Meyong to be registered because that is within the regulations, but that then whether he played or not was up to the club.

14/01/08

Sporting let a one goal lead slip in added time against Académica Sunday to drop two more points in their quest for what is now, realistically, second place (they are 14 points behind FC Porto). Sporting huffed and puffed and had most of the play, Pedro Roma keeping them out until 80 minutes when a João Moutinho free kick on the right was met by an unmarked Tonel who headed home. Then deep into time added on, a cross from the left by sub Ivanildo was headed on at the near post and Serbian central defender Pavlovic strolled in unmarked in front of goal to head in. If Vitória de Guimarães beat Vitória de Setúbal on Monday, they will go above Sporting into third place, behind Porto and Benfica.

The teams lined up:

Académica: Pedro Roma, Nuno Piloto, Orlando, Kaká, Vítor Vinha, Pavlovic, Tiero, Paulo Sérgio (Pedro Costa 55), Cris, Lito (Joeano 64), Hélder Barbosa (Ivanildo 74).

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Polga, Tonel, Ronny (Pereirinha 74), Abel, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Romagnoli (Farnerud 78), Izmailov (Luiz Paez 62), Vukcevic, Liedson.

On his return to the club from Levante, Cameroonian striker
Meyong got the winner for Belenenses as they beat Naval 2-1. Roncatto had put them in front on 12 minutes, but Marcelinho had equalised for Naval just before the break. Then a quarter of an hour from time came Meyong's goal, from the spot. Belenenses move into eighth, while Naval stay just above the drop zone.

Boavista continue to improve and drag their way out of trouble; they are now 10th. They were a goal behind at home to bottom club União de Leiria, ex-Boavisteiro João Paulo netting on 14 minutes. The lead held until 55 minutes when Éder fouled Fary for a second yellow and was sent off. Central defender Marcelão cracked the free kick low into the bottom right hand corner for his fifth of the season. Two more goals in the last quarter of an hour, from Jorge Ribeiro and Fary, gave Boavista an ultimately comfortable win.

In Sunday's other game, Nacional went to Estrela da Amadora and came away with all three points, a speculative shot from Alonso from 25 metres fooling Nélson in the Estrela goal. Nacional are ninth, Estrela 11th.

13/01/08

FC Porto shifted up a gear on their recent performances and wiped the floor with an ineffectual Sporting Braga Saturday. Braga had just two real chances on goal during the whole game, while Porto had many and scored four. Argentinian striker Lisandro López on five minutes and Raul Meireles on 18 knocked the wind out of Braga early on, and in the last ten minutes, Lisandro got his second (his 13th Liga goal of the season) and compatriot Ernesto Faria, on as sub, got the fourth, his first of the season. Porto increase the gap on second-placed club Benfica to 11 points and must now be ordering their Champions' sashes, with only half the season gone. It was Manuel Machado's first defeat in charge of Braga.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Cech, Lucho, Paulo Assunção (Bolatti 85), Raul Meireles, Lisandro (Mariano 83), Adriano (Farías 81), Quaresma

Sporting Braga: Paulo Santos, João Pereira, Paulo Jorge, Rodriguez, Carlos Fernandes (César Peixoto 29), Roberto Brum, Vandinho, Jorginho (João Tomás 77), Wender, Miguelito, Linz (Jaílson 65).

Porto increased the gap over
Benfica because As Águias could do no more than draw 0-0 at home to lowly Leixões. Indeed, it was the northern team that looked most likely to score, hitting the woodwork twice, although Nuno Gomes had a goal disallowed in the first half for a non-existent off-side. There were whistles and white handkerchiefs in the stands at the end, signalling Benfiquistas dissatisfaction with the way this season is going.

The teams lined up:

Benfica: Quim, Léo, Petit, Rui Costa, Maxi Pereira, Dí Maria (Freddy Adu 78), Nuno Gomes, Cardozo (Mantorras 73).

Leixões: Beto, Nuno Diogo, Elvis, Filipe Oliveira, Ezequias, Bruno China, Jorge Gonçalves, Hugo Morais, Diogo Valente (Vieirinha 85), Roberto (Tales 89), Nwoko (Pedro Cervantes 71).

12/01/08

An assured Paços de Ferreira got three well-deserved points Friday, beating Marítimo 3-1 at home. Edson put the 'Castors' in front on eight minutes, Marítimo's best player Massoró equalised on 27 but then Wesley got two before the break to sew it up. Wesley has scored four in the last two games. Despite the win, Paços remain second from bottom.

The teams lined up:

Paços De Ferreira: Peçanha, Mangualde, Rovérsio, Tiago Valente, Chico Silva, Paulo Sousa, Pedrinha, Edson (Renato Queirós 90), Wesley (Filipe Anunciação 81), Cristiano, Furtado (Ricardinho 90).

Marítimo: Marcos, Briguel, Ediglê, Gregory, Evaldo, João Luiz, Wénio (Tito 46), Marcinho (Kanu 46), Djalma, Mossoró, Makukula (Bruno Fogaça 62).

08/01/08

Belenenses and Nacional closed the 15th jornada Monday with a 1-1 draw in Belém. Belenenses were in front on 50 minutes, Roncatto finishing off a cut-back from Weldon, and then they hit the bar through Ruben Amorim before Lipatin equalised on 64, taking advantage of a fumble by Marco from an Alonso cross. Both sides remain mid-table.

The teams lined up:

Belenenses: Marco Gonçalves, Cândido Costa, Rolando, Hugo Alcântara, Rodrigo Alvim, Hugo Leal (Gomez 15), Ruben Amorim, Silas (João Paulo 79), José Pedro, Roncatto, Weldon.

Nacional: Diego, Patacas, Ávalos (José Vítor 55), Cardozo, Alonso, Juninho (Rodrigo 76), Cléber, João Coimbra, Juliano, Adriano (Fábio Coentrão 46), Lipatin.

07/01/08

FC Porto extended their lead over Benfica to nine points and over Sporting to 12 after defeating Naval 1-0 Sunday. Porto did not have to get out of second gear to get past the team from Figueira da Foz, but they only managed the one goal, Lisandro López capitlising on a rare mistake from Taborda on the hour to pass to Paulo Assunção whose lay-off was cracked smartly home by Raul Meireles.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Marek Cech, Lucho Gonzalez, Paulo Assunção, Raul Meireles (Mariano Gonzalez 83), Tarik Sektioui (Adriano 59), Lisandro Lopez, Ricardo Quaresma (Lino 90).

Naval: Taborda, Mário Sérgio, Paulão, Diego, China, Davide, Gilmar (Godemeche 46), Delfim, João Ribeiro, Saulo (Marinho 76), Marcelinho (Elivelton 66).

Vitória de Guimarães missed the chance to creep into the top three when they suprisingly went down 4-1 at Estrela da Amdora. It was Miljan who actually put Vitória in front on 36 minutes, and although the goal was scored from an offside position, it was justice for Vitória's dominance. But Estrela were transformed in the second half, and after Nuno Viveiros had equalised, Geromel put through his own goal, and then came the collapse, Hélder Cabral and Pedro Pereira finishing Vitória off. Vitória hit the post not less than five times during the game.

Ricardo Esteves was in the spotlight for Marítimo for good and bad reasons. He crossed for Bruno Fogaça to score on just four minutes, but then scored an own goal to bring Leixões level. And still in the first half, he was sent off for a second yellow card. Gregory gave Marítimo all three points before Leixões had Paulo Machado and Nuno Silva sent off.

Two headers from Wesley were enough to give Paços de Ferreira a 2-1 win over relegation rivals União de Leiria. João Paulo got União's goal. Leiria are rock bottom on just five points.

06/01/08

A ramshackle Benfica came away from Bonfim with a point Saturday evening. But the highlight of the game was not the goals or the result but a violent disagreement between Benfica's Brazilian central defender Luisão and his team-mate, the Greek midfielder Katsouranis. On 64 minutes, Katsouranis lost the ball in the opposition's half, Vitória broke and Luisão was forced to foul Edinho and got a yellow card. A shouting match and pushing and shoving ensued between the two Benfica players, and coach José Antóniuo Camacho wasted no time in substituting them. One of the subs, Pedro Mantorras, gave Benfica the lead after just three minutes of being on the field, and it looked like Benfica might, despite everything, snatch the points, but tow miunutes from time, Claudio Pitbull lofted a cross to the back post from the right and Edinho crashed in a header to give Vitória a deserved point.

The teams lined up:

Vitória de Setúbal: Eduardo, Janício, Auri, Robson, Adalto, Sandro (Filipe Gonçalves 77), Elias, Ricardo Chaves, Paulo Roberto (Edinho 32), Pitbull, Matheus (Bruno Gama 74).

Benfica: Quim, Luís Filipe, Luisão (Edcarlos 68), David Luiz, Nélson, Petit, Katsouranis (Mantorras 68), Maxi Pereira, Rui Costa, Rodriguez (Di Maria 32), Cardozo.

Playing some of their best football of the season, and with 'keeper Peter Jehle in inspired form, Boavista beat a poor Sporting 2-0. Slack defending from a corner let in Marcelão to prod in his fourth of the season on 40 minutes, and ten minutes from time, Jorge Ribeiro finished off a slick counter attack after an excellent pass from the right by Zé Kalanga.

The teams lined up:

Boavista: Peter Jehle, Gilberto, Ricardo Silva, Marcelão, Bruno Pinheiro, Fleurival, Diakité, Jorge Ribeiro (Pedro Moreira 89), Zé Kalanga, Mateus (Laionel 69), Fary (Rissut 62).

Sporting: Rui Patrício, Abel, Tonel (Pereirinha 71), Polga, Ronny, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Romagnoli (Izmailov 46), Vukcevic, Liedson, Purovic (Luiz Paez 71).

05/01/08

Académica and Sporting Braga fought out a ding-dong battle Friday, finishing level at 3-3. Austrian striker Roland Linz put Braga in front on 21 minutes, Hélder Barbosa equalised just before the break, William Tiero put Académica in front on the hour, Jorginho equalised for Braga almost immediately, Roland Linz got his second to restore Braga's lead on 70 minutes and Joeano gave Académica a point at the curtain.

 

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