Vitória de Setúbal won their third Taça de Portugal in their history Sunday, 38 years after their last one, when they beat Benfica 2-1 at the National Stadium on the outskirts of Lisbon to deny the Lisbon giants the Liga/Taça double. Benfica went in front on only three minutes through Simão from the spot, but Vitória came back well and, playing the better football, turned the game around with a goal by Manuel José before half-time and the winner from Meyong in the second half. Although he didn't get to come on, the Taça was lifted by veteran club captain Hélio, substitute on the day, representing Vitória for the last time.
(See match report)
There will be 600 police officers on duty in an around the National Stadium, on the outskirts of Lisbon, for the final of the Taça between Benfica and Vitória de Setúbal Sunday. The game, which will have a capacity crowd of 37,500, is considered 'high risk' by the authorities. There will also be 250 volunteers on duty from the Instituto Português da Juventude ('Portuguese Youth Institute')
Vitória de Setúbal have sold all of their allocation of 11,000 tickets for the Final of the Taça on 29 May.
Benfica are on course for the double after they got through to the Final of the Taça Wednesday. Estrela da Amadora of the Liga de Honra (second division) proved an organised enough side, if a little naive. Benfica's first two goal of their 3-0 win came directly from balls lost in midefield by Estrela. Both times, the ball was fed out to Geovanni and his cross was headed in, by Nuno Gomes on 36 minutes and Nuno Assis on 66. Nuno Gomes wrapped it up on 73 with a neat finish froma long pass by central defender André Luíz. Estrela hit the bar late on through Henrique, but it would have been no more than a consolation.
Benfica meet old rivals Vitória de Setúbal at the National Stadium (Jamor) on 29 May.
Vitória de Setúbal are the first finalists of this year's Taça. They beat Boavista 2-1 after extra time in a bad-tempered match at the Estádio do Bonfim. It took Boavista just eight minutes to take the lead, caping a bright start with a ZéManuel penalty after Auri had brought down Toñito. But then Vitória proceeded to dominate most of the game with a more automatised and cohesive game, while Boavista relied largely on the long ball to Cafú and later Hugo Almeida. But it took a mistake from Boavista captain Martelinho on the right to let in Manuel José whose cross was tapped in by Meyong.
The second half became increasingly scrappy and violent, and on 78 minutes, João Pedro, who had done a good man-marking job on Vitória's star player Jorginho, saw a second yellow and was sent off.
And so it went to extra time, the first half of which was eventful, to say the least. After just two minutes, Bruno Ribeiro unleashed a shot from nowhere that Carlos didn't even see as it crashed into the roof of the net. Sub Igor missed two sitters, then on ten minutes, Boavista were down to nine men when Tiago saw a direct red after a melee on the half-way line. The rest of what was left of the game was taken up with Vitória taking it easy while Boavista insisted on pumping long balls forward, to no avail. So the score remained 2-1 to Vitória, who will be going to the final for the first time in 32 years.
They will meet the winners of the other semi-final, to be played Wednesday: Estrela da Amadora v Benfica.
The draw was made Tuesday for the Semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal. Benfica have ostensibly the easiest task, facing Liga de Honra (second division) side and neighbours Estrela da Amadora who, despite being at tthe top of their division, should not provide much trouble for the Águias ... unless Benfica put in one of their greyer performances. The game is at Amadora, which may also be another important factor. Even so, Estrela's coach Toni is not very hopeful: "We have a one percent chance of going through," he said.
High-flying SuperLiga sides Vitória de Setúbal and Boavista meet in the other Semi, to be played at Vitória's Bonfim stadium.
The games will be played on or around 20 April.
Benfica are the fourth side through to the Semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal, beating Beira-Mar at the Luz stadium Thursday. Diminutive João Perreira was fed by Nuno Gomes on 26 minutes before running on to score the only goal of the game.
Outspoken Beira-Mar coach Luís Campos was furious with the refereeing of international ref Lucílio Baptista during the game: "Benfica's goal was off-side, there was a clear penalty in favour of Beira-Mar not given, and Miguel was spared a second yellow. There was duality of criteria."
Benfica join Boavista, Vitória de Setúbal and Estrela da Amadora in the hat for the Semi-final draw, which will take place on Tuesday 8 March.
SuperLiga sides Boavista and Vitória de Setúbal and Liga de Honra (second division) side Estrela da Amadora are through to the Semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal, to be joined by either Benfica or Beira-Mar, who play on Thursday (see results)
The game of the round so far was at Setúbal where Vitória were one up at half time and two up shortly after through Bruno Morães (14 minutes) and Meyong (48). But Braga came back well as the home side tired and lost concentration, and they were level after Veríssimo put through his own goal on the hour and Wender curled a superb shot past Marco Tábuas a quarter of an hour from the end. Ten minutes from time, Bruno Morães of Vitória did a Maradona and handled the ball in; the referee was about to give it but the linesman had seen the infraction. This incensed the crowd and there might well have been trouble had Setúbal not scored a legitimate goal three minutes from time through sub Igor that put the team from the River Sado through to the Semis.
The upset of the day came on the outskirts of Lisbon, where local side Estrela da Amadora of the Liga de Honra held Belenenses to a goalless draw for 120 minutes before beating them 8-7 on penalties. Estrela fans will be remembering the 1989/90 season when Estrela won the Taça, the club's greatest triumph, by beating Farense 2-0 and thus qualifying for Europe. The cup-winners this year will also have a place in the UEFA cup next season.
Int he last round, Boavista put out Madeiran side Nacional. This time they did the same to Nacional's neighbours Marítimo, and on their own turf. An early goal from Milhazes and a late one from Zé Manuel were enough, but the story doesn't end there. Marítimo's Wénio on 36 minutes and Tonel on 65 were sent off, making Boavista's task significantly easier.
The Semi-finals will be on or around 20 March.
Benfica won a thrilling Sixth round Taça tie against eternal rivals Sporting in front of 60,000 at the Luz Wednesday. It was 2-2 at full time, 3-3 after extra time and 7-6 after fourteen penalties (see match report). So the holders join Boavista, Sporting Braga, Vitória de Setúbal, Marítimo, Belenenses, Estrela da Amadora (the only non-SuperLiga club left in the competition) and Beira-Mar (bye) in the hat for the quarter-finals. (see results)
For the second time in a matter of days, Boavista beat Nacional on Madeiran soil to claim a place in the quarter-finals of the Taça de Portugal. Boavista had stayed on after their 2-0 league win Saturday, and they had obviously kept up their motivation and rhythm as they went 1-0 up through Zé Manuel, returning to the team after suspension, on 36 minutes. Boavista kept the lead until just five minutes from time when the inevitable Adriano equalised. And so it went to extra-time.
And it was a ding-dong of an extra-time: Cafú restored Boavista's lead, on 105, Nuno Viveiros restored equality two minutes later, Diogo Valente, who had scored an excellent goal on Saturday, put Boavista back in front on 115, Lucas made it look all over on 117 and then Emerson pulled another back for Nacional on 119, giving Boavista a nervous last minute or so.
Benfica v Sporting is the star turn in the sixth round of the Taça de Portugal, the draw for which was made Friday. Other all-SuperLiga clashes are Vitória de Setúbal v Vitória de Guimarães, Nacional v Boavista and Académica v Marítimo. Full draw here.
There were no real giant-killing feats in the fifth round of the Taça Wednesday, although there were a couple of minor upsets.
Rio Ave, doing well in the SuperLiga, went out 0-2 at home to SuperLiga bottom club Académica with goals five minutes either side of half-time by Dário and Luciano . It was Rio Ave's first home defeat of the season.
Another all-SuperLiga game saw in-form União de Leiria going out 1-2 at home to struggling Nacional. An early Serginho goal for Nacional was wiped out by Laranjeiro before Goulart got the winner just after the break.
José Couceiro's Vitória de Setúbal went to Rui Bento's Académica de Viseu and got the result they wanted, 3-1, with goals from Bruno Moraes, Manuel José and Jorginho, with Jairson getting a consolation for Académica in added time.
Beira-Mar had more trouble at home to Sporting Espinho, who went in front on ten minutes through Júlio César. Kingsley equalised eight minutes later, and then in the second half, Rui Lima put the SuperLiga side in front on 53, but Magano put Espinho level on 69. The game went to extra-time and then penalties which Beira-Mar won 4-3, Rui Lima getting the winner.
Fiães also took their game against SuperLiga Marítimo to penalties after the game had finished 0-0. Marítimo had the better of them, 4-1.
Vitória de Guimarães were not chancing penalties and finished the game off in normal time at Aliados de Lordelo, with goals from Alex and Nuno Assis in a ten-minute period mid-way through the second half.
Sporting Braga, flying high in the SuperLiga, were fortunate to get a second bite at the apple in Odivelas, who went in front just before the break through Pedro Pereira . Braga left it until the final minute to equalise through Edinho, and it was Edinho who got the winner in extra-time.
Belenenses had no trouble dispatching Pombal at home. Anchouet and Juninho Petrolinha in the first half and Catanha twenty minutes from time put the Blues through.
See all the results here. The draw for the sixth round of the Taça will take place Friday 14.
Sporting strolled past Segunda B side Pampilhosa to move forward to the sixth round of the Taça de Portugal Tuesday. Carlos Martins and Sá Pinto put Sporting in front on ten and 20 minutes, but their teammate Paíto put through his own goal on 27 to take the minnows into the interval with a bit of hope. Which was dashed in the second half by Sá Pinto on 53 and Hugo Viana on 63.
Boavista are through to the Sixth Round of the Taça after beating third division side Vianense 3-1 away. They were 3-0 up within half an hour through Zé Manuel, João Pinto and Diogo Valente , while Gil gave Vianense a consolation on 87.
Moreirense became the fourth SuperLiga side to get knocked out of the Taça when they went down 1-2 at Oliveira do Hospital Wednesday. Jorge Duarte put Moreirense in front, but in the second half, Betinho and Paulo Alves gave the Segunda B side a ticket through to the sixth round. The bottom side in the SuperLiga, having a terrible season, join FC Porto, Estoril and Gil Vicente on the sofa to watch the rest of the competition.
Sporting have brought their fifth round home tie against Pampilhosa of the Segunda B forward from the12th to the 4th of January. This will effectively wipe out star striker Liedson's suspension for accumulation of yellow cards, meaning that he can face Benfica in the vital SuperLiga derby on the 9th.
Cup-holders Benfica had serious problems getting past Third Division Oliveirense at the Luz Tuesday to progress to the sixth round of the Taça de Portugal. It was the amateurs who went in front on 25 minutes through João Fidalgo, and they seemed much more interested in playing than their big-time opponents. In fact, Benfica needed the help of the referee to get the breakthrough, and just to make sure, Bruno Paixão awarded them three dubious penalties. Unfortunately for Benfica, veteran ´keeper Víctor was on form and saved the first two in the first half from Simão and Sokota.
It was third time lucky for Os Encarnados, and Simão managed to net from the spot in the second half. But still Benfica couldn't kill off the plucky Oliveirense, even despite them being reduced to ten men ten minutes from time when sub Raúl was sent off for a second yellow. And so it went to extra-time.
Reduced to ten and not having the benefit of Benfica's superior training, Oliveirense's resistance withered and Benfica got three. The first, in the first period, came from the unfortunate José Manuel who put through his own goal. Then in the second period, Sokota and Geovanni made sure. Oliveirense were down to nine men in the closing minutes when Armando was sent off.
Benfica can heave a sigh of relief, but their fans were well aware of their difficulties against an opponent that should have been a pushover, and the team were not spared whistling and jeering.
The draw was made Tuesday for the fifth round of the Portuguese Cup (Taça de Portugal). Most SuperLiga sides avoided playing against each other, except for Rio Ave v Académica and União de Leiria v Nacional. Sporting and Benfica, the only two Grandes left, look to have simple ties. (see draw)
Benfica (SL) - AD Oliveirense (III)
Sporting (SL) - Pampilhosa (IIB)
Belenenses (SL) - Sporting Pombal (IIB)
Rio Ave (SL) - Académica Coimbra (SL)
União Leiria (SL) - Nacional (SL)
Beira-Mar (SL) - Sporting Espinho (LH)
Penafiel (SL) - FC Maia (LH)
Estrela Amadora (LH) - Louletano (IIB)
Fiães (IIB) - Marítimo (SL)
Odivelas (IIB) - Sporting Braga (SL)
Académico de Viseu (IIB) - Vitória Setúbal (SL)
Oliveira do Hospital (IIB) - Moreirense (SL)
Pinhalnovense (IIB) - Leça (III)
Vianense (III) - Boavista (SL)
Lordelo (III) - Vitória de Guimarães (SL)
While Benfica and Sporting are both through to the Fifth Round of the Taça de Portugal (beating Odivelas and Naval respectively, both 3-1) last year's finalists FC Porto are out after going down 1-2 at Vitória de Guimarães. Porto rested several key players and were made to pay, Nuno Assis scoring twice in the second half. Derlei pulled one back for Porto near the end.
Other upsets were the defeats to SuperLiga teams Gil Vicente and Estoril, the former beaten 1-2 at Segunda B side Odivelas, the latter defeated 0-1 at home by Liga de Honra side Estrela da Amadora.
The thrashing of the round was handed out by struggling SuperLiga side Penafiel, 9-0 at home to Nazarenos of the Third Division. (All the results)
State TV channel RTP1 has secured the rights to this season's Taça de Portugal games, via sports media company Olivedesportos. The first game shown will be Vitória de Guimarães v FC Porto next Wedensday. No games except the final were televised last season.
The draw was made Monday for the fourth round of the Taça de Portugal. This is where the SuperLiga teams come into the picture. The most striking tie is the one that pits Vitória de Guimarães against the FC Porto, both from the SuperLiga. Games will be played on 27 October (or thereabouts).
The draw for the Third Round of the Taça de Portugal took place Thursday. Liga de Honra (second division) sides now take part. Superliga sides enter in the Fourth Round
The Second Round of the Taça de Portugal was played out Sunday. This round adds teams from the Segunda B (third division) to the District and Terceira Divisão (fourth division) teams that survived the First Round. The games are organised on a regional basis. The draw for the Third Round, which includes Liga de Honra (second division) sides, will take place on September 23rd.