taça de portugal - 2003/04



João Francisco, 18, an FC Porto fan from Montalegre near Porto was shot by a Benfica fan and later died in hospital following the Taça Final Sunday.

Manuel Nascimento, a Sporting fan from Sintra near Lisbon, was stabbed while celebrating Benfica's victory.

Next season's Taça will begin on 5 September and end with the Final at the National Stadium on 29 May.


Benfica won their first trophy for eight years Sunday when they beat FC Porto 2-1 in the Final of the Taça de Portugal at a packed National Stadium on the outskirts of Lisbon. At the same time, FC Porto saw their dream of consecutive trebles fade and disappear. The Benfica players dedicated the win to the memory of colleagues Miklos Féher and Bruno Baião who died this season.

Porto went in front on the stroke of half-time through Derlei, but on 58 minutes Greek left-back Fyssas put Benfica level.and the game went to extra time. On the stroke of half-time of extra time, Benfica got the winner, Simão heading home. Porto captain Jorge Costa saw a second yellow on 70 and was sent off. (see match report)


Things are hotting up ahead of Sunday's Taça Final. Both teams involved, FC Porto and Benfica, have sold out their allocation of 13,000+ tickets. At Benfica, the queues stretched for more than a kilometre. Some sócios turned up with friends' cards - one had 147 - and there were some disturbances around the ticket office. the touts were also out in force.


There is a small controversy brewing over the venue for the Final of the Taça. The Federation (FPF), who organise the competition, want it to be played in one of the new stadiums built for Euro 2004 as an ultimate test of security and logistics before that competition. The traditional venue is the Estádio Nacional near Lisbon, but the the FPF also think the final in another stadium would be more commercially viable. One of the finalists, FC Porto, have always been against the final in the National Stadium (also known as Jamor) because it is in the south (Porto are from the north) and favours teams from the south. The other finalist, Benfica, want it in Jamor because it is the traditional home of the final. All parties have agreed to abide by the final decision, to be taken by the FPF.

The Estádio Nacional was inaugurated in 1944. The then dictator Salazar said of it and the park that surrounds it: "It is a great park without any luxuries, with fresh grass and leafy trees, where the people of Lisbon can play, laugh, breathe fresh air and really enjoy themselves at one with nature."


Benfica joined FC Porto in the final of the Taça de Portugal Wednesday after a relatively easy ride in the semi-final against out-of-form Belenenses in front of 27,000 at the Luz . The tie was more or less done and dusted by the tenth minute with two goals from Croatian striker Sokota, and Tiago added another on 35 to effectively wrap it all up. In the second half, Belenenses came out with a little more gumption and pulled one back through Hélder Rosário five minutes in, but they paid for a disastrous first half and a generally ineffectual attack throughout. One piece of bad news for Benfica was the injury to influential midfielder Petit, who pulled a thigh muscleand will be out for three weeks, missing the return leg of the UEFA cup tie with Inter Milan.


A hat-trick from giant Lithuanian striker Jankauskas whisked FC Porto into the final of the Taça de Portugal Tuesday with a 3-1 win at Sporting Braga. Jankauskas got his first, an opportunist exploitation of bad defending, on seven minutes. He got his second on 52 with a header at the back post, once again finding the Braga defence wanting. And he got his third on the hour with an immense snap volley from outside the area that cracked into the net past a dumbstruck Quim. Meanwhile, Vanzini had kept interest alive by making it 1-2 on 54 minutes, but the final result was as inevitable as the fact that Porto will be playing Benfica in the final (Benfica receive out-of-form Belenenses Wednesday in the other semi-final).


Thursday's draw for the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal left a possible Benfica v Porto on the cards. Benfica receive Belenenses while FC Porto travel further north to Braga to play the local Sporting. The games are set for March 17th


Only SuperLiga sides are now left in the Taça after the quarter-finals, played out Wednesday: FC Porto, Benfica, Sporting Braga and Belenenses.

FC Porto went to Rio Ave with a depleted team (through choice), but their second string was enough to put Rio Ave out. Costinha and Bruno Moraes got first-half goals, and Rio Ave's Vandinho was sent off for a second bookable offence just before the break. But they came out fighting in the second half and narrowed the margin through Ronny. But even with a whole half to peg back the other goal, Rio Ave's ten men could not find the way and it ended 1-2, Porto going through to the semis.

Also into the pot go Benfica after beating Nacional of Madeira 2-1 at the Luz. Nacional were fools to themselves, scoring as early as the 21st minute through Sérgio but then sitting on the lead, only to see it vanish in a two-minute period late in the game, through Tiago (86) and Sokota (88).

Sporting Braga were involved in a ding-dong battle at Liga de Honra side Naval that finished 2-3. Fernando gave Naval the lead on six minutes, Paulo Sérgio equalised on 26, Carlitos gave Naval the lead back on 58, Wender equalised again on 72 and Igor put a nail in Naval's coffin ten minutes from time.

Other Liga de Honra side Estoril Praia almost pulled off an upset in their brief trip along the Tagus Estuary to Belém to face Belenenses. In a flurry of first-half activity, Hugo Henrique put Beleneses in front on 17 minutes, but Fellahi equalised for Estoril five minutes later. That was it until the end, and so it went to extra time. On 98 minutes, Marco Paulo sent the travelling Estoril fans wild with the goal that sparked dreams of a semi-final place for the seasiders, but six minutes from the final whistle, Hugo Henrique got his second to give Belenenses another life. It needed penalties to separate the two, and in 16 taken, Belenenses shaded it 5-4.


A 'second string' FC Porto waltzed through to the quarter-finals of the Taça Wednesday, beating Segunda B outfit Vilafranquense 4-0 in the outstanding sixth round tie in front of just 7,000 at the Antas. New signings Carlos Alberto and Sérgio Conceição both got on the scoresheet, the former twice on 24 and 76 minutes, the latter with a penalty on 66. Marco Ferreira got the other on 28. In the quarter-finals, Porto will be away at Rio Ave , to be played on February 11th.


In the quarter-final draw made Tuesday, Benfica got Nacional at home, and FC Porto, assuming they get through the last game of the previous round against Segunda B side Vilfranquense tomorrow, will travel to Rio Ave. Another interesting tie is the relatively local derby between Belenenses and Estoril, riding high in the Segunda. The games are to be played on February 11th. (full draw)


Felgueiras have been kicked out of the cup for a breach of regulations during their 3-0 win over Segunda B side Vilafranquense in the fifth round. Coach Diamantino Miranda had not been registered but sat on the bench, and it was enough to cause the 3-0 result to be reversed and the tie given to Vilafranquense, who will now meet FC Porto in the sixth round, date to be decided.


The SuperLiga sides Rio Ave, Belenenses, Nacional, Sporting Braga and Benfica (bye) are through to the quarter finals of the Taça after Wednesday's games. They will be joined by Liga de Honra sides Estoril Praia and Naval, while the final place will go to the winners of FC Porto v Felgueiras of the Liga de Honra, suspended pending disciplinary action against Felgueiras. (See results)

Nacional played the last half an hour reduced to nine men at União de Leiria, but that didn't stop them getting a surprising 2-1 result that puts them through. Hugo Almeida, rampant on his loan return to UDL from FC Porto, put them in front in the first minute. Alexandre Goulart put Nacional back in it on 50, then three Nacional players were sent off for protesting: Adriano, Goulart and Cleomir, the latter warming up on the sidelines. Nevertheless, the Madeiran side did not collapse and five minutes from time got a penaçlty that Alvarez converted for a famous victory.

Bruno put through his own goal just before the break to give Sporting Braga the lead at home to Moreirense. Demétrios equalised for the visitors on 71 minutes, but 5 minutes later Narcisse gave Braga the ticket to the quarters.

Another 2-1 scoreline saw Rio Ave progress against Portimonense of the Algarve. It was the Liga de Honra side that went in front on 55 minutes through Lino, Paulo César equalised on 70 and Ronny got the winner in the dying seconds.

A late goal in the first half by Pelé set Belenenses on their way against the lowliest team still in the competition, Santo António of the Segunda B. It was pretty much plain sailing from there, Leonardo, Marco Paulo and Verona adding three more to make the final score 4-0.

It took 15 penalties to separate Marco and Naval of the Liga de Honra after the game itself had finished 0-0. Naval finally shaved it 8-7.

Buba got Estoril's only goal on 15 minutes to put out Liga de Honra rivals Vitória de Setúbal.


FC Porto v Felgueiras for the sixth round of the Taça, scheduled for January 14th, has been suspended pending disciplinary action by the Federation against Felgueiras' coach Diamantino Miranda. Miranda was suspended but sat on the bench for the fifth round tie against Vila-Franquense (3-0). Should Felgueiras be ousted from the Taça, Vila-Franquense will take their place against FC Porto.


Benfica have a bye into the quarter-finals of the Taça. FC Porto seem to have a soft draw, at home to Liga de Honra side Felgueiras. There are two ties involving two SuperLiga sides: Moreirense v Sporting Braga and União de Leiria v Nacional. (See draw)


FC Porto and Benfica went through to the sixth round of the Taça Wednesday, but the third Grande Sporting fell by the wayside.

The shock of the night was the elimination of Sporting on their own turf by Liga de Honra side Vitória de Setúbal. A single goal by Orestes on eight minutes was enough to humiliate Sporting, who also went out of the UEFA Cup recently to another underdog, Gençlerbiligi of Turkey. The only consolation for Sporting fans may be that they can now concentrate solely on the SuperLiga.

FC Porto can't. They're still involved in the Champions League and go into the sixth round draw of the Taça after an ultimately comfortable 3-0 win over Maia at the old Antas stadium, their last official game there before moving to the nearby Estádio do Dragão. (See general news). McCarthy (25 minutes), Maniche (78) and Alenitchev (87) got the goals. McCarthy was sent off on 70 minutes for trying to kick Wagner.

Benfica's Simão also saw red in Coimbra, where the Águias beat Académica 1-0. Giant Brazilian defender Luisão, back after injury, headed the winner on 22 minutes.

Elsewhere, Vitória de Guimarães' wretched season shows no sign of getting better as they went down 0-2 at home to Liga de Honra side Naval. Paços de Ferreira fared no better, going out 0-1, also at home, to Portimonense, also of the Liga de Honra. União de Leiria, last season's beaten finalists, put out Marítimo (3-1) and improving Rio Ave did the same to SuperLiga sensation Beira-Mar (1-0). Estoril trounced Segunda B side Leça 6-0. (see results)


The remaining Fourth Round ties of the Taça were played Sunday. There were few shocks: SuperLiga teams Gil Vicente and Alverca were beaten by teams from lower divisions, Sanjoanense and Vitória de Setúbal respectively, while another SuperLiga side Sporting Braga got the biggest win of the day, thrashing Third Division Paços Brandão 6-0 away. Sporting had a short trip to Sintra to beat 1º de Dezembro 2-0, the Brazilian forwards Liedson and Clayton getting the goals. There are two Third Division sides still in the competition: Cinfães and Pedrouços.
(See results)


FC Porto went through to the fifth round of the Taça Saturday with a 1-0 win over eternal local rivals Boavista, the inevitable Derlei heading the winner on 53 minutes from a Deco free-kick. Porto have won five Taças in the last decade.

Earlier in the evening, Benfica struggled to make headway against Estrela da Amadora until the 73rd minute when diminutive winger João Perreira, on as sub fifteen minutes beforehand, opened the scoring. The goal brought down the Estrela defences and Tiago and Roger added a couple in the next ten minutes, Bernardo getting a consolation for Estrela five minutes from time.


The Liga de Honra clubs and below scrapped it out for a place in the fourth round of the Taça Sunday. There were few surprises: Louletano of the Segunda B beat Santa Clara of the Liga de Honra on penalties, while Maia, also of the Liga de Honra thrashed district side Vasco da Gama de Vidigueira 9-2 away.

The fourth round, which will incorporate teams from the SuperLiga, will be played out on November 16th.


The FPF have begun the difficult task of trying to sell the TV rights to the Taça de Portugal for the next two seasons. There are four Portuguese stations that could conceivably buy the rights: State-run RTP, independent channels SIC and TVI and cable channel SportTV. However, the competition has been notoriously difficult to sell over the last couple of seasons, and there is no evidence that it will be any easier this time around.

Meanwhile, Monday saw the draw for the second round of the Taça, which now includes teams from the Segunda B. The games will be played on September 28th. (see draw)


Sunday saw the first round of the Taça, involving district and Third Division clubs (see results). The draw for the second round, involving Segunda B clubs, will take place on September 15th.


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