FC Porto won their 13th Taça de Portugal Sunday, and along with it the double of Liga and Taça for the fifth time in their history in front of 37,000 at the National Stadium. In a game that was far from a classic, Vitória de Setúbal were only occasionally in with a shout against the superior quality of Porto's individuals. Adriano got the only goal on 39 minutes, a header from a deep Quaresma cross. (see match report) There was trouble in the Porto end just before the break, with riot police using batons.
FC Porto and Vitória de Setúbal meet Sunday in the Taça Final at Jamor. FC Porto are looking for their 13th Cup win and their fifth Double (Liga and Taça in the same season). Vitória are looking for their fourth Cup win; they are the current holders, having beaten Benfica last season.
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FC Porto coach Co Adriaanse has announced his squad for Sunday's Taça de Portugal Final:
Goalkeepers: Helton and Vítor Baía.
Defenders: Bosingwa, Pedro Emanuel, Bruno Alves, Marek Cech, Ricardo Costa and Pepe
Midfielders: Ibson, Raul Meireles, Paulo Assunção, Lucho González, Jorginho, Alan, Anderson and Quaresma.
Forwards: Adriano, Lisandro Lopez, Hugo Almeida and McCarthy
The 12 thousand tickets allocated to the two finalists of this year's Taça de Portugal (Sunday, 14 May) were sold out on the first day. Fans queued overnight to be the lucky ones. The National Stadium (Jamor) on the outskirts of Lisbon has a capacity of 37,000.
In what was virtually a carbon copy of the other semi-final on the previous evening, cup-holders Vitória de Setúbal booked their return to Jamor by beating Vitória de Guimarães, but it had to go to penalties before a winner could be found. It was 0-0 at full-time, then in the second half of extra-time, Polish striker Saganowski put Guimarães in front. But two minutes from the end, Brazilian central defender Auri equalised for Setúbal, and so it went to penalties. It was hit and miss for both sides before finally Rubinho saved from Paulo Sérgio and Setúbal were through to face FC Porto at the National Stadium on 14 May.
FC Porto made it to the Final of the Taça Wednesday, beating Sporting in a tight but ultimately dramatic semi at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto. It was goal-less at the final whistle, but then in extra time things started happening. On 109 minutes, Cech took his eye off the ball on the left, Nani stole it from him and crossed for Liedson to head in from close range. A minute later, Porto's Meireles was involved in a scuffle with Polga, who was trying to waste time. Sporting's Caneira joined in the fun, saw a second yellow and was sent off. Five minutes after Sporting's goal, Ricardo Quaresma, attacking down the right flank that Caneira would have been covering, put in a trademark cross (with the outside of his right foot) and there was Benni McCarthy to glance a header past a rooted Ricardo. There was still time for Porto's Bosingwa to also see a second yellow before it went to penalties. Sporting's young midfield star João Moutinho was called upon to take the first of the series ... and Baía dived well to his left to push it round the post. All the other penalties were scored, Lisandro Lopes getting the clincher for Porto, Ricardo getting a hand to it but unable to stop it getting past him.
Porto, who can now get the double of Liga title and Taça, will play either Vitória de Setúbal, the holders, or Vitória de Guimarães, who fight out the other semi-final Thursday, in the Final.
The draw was made Thursday for the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal and threw up a clássico: FC Porto play Sporting on Wednsday 22/03 at 20.45. The other semi-final, to be played the following day att he same time, pits the two Vitórias - Setúbal and Guimarães, against each other. Cup-holders Setúbal will seek to go to Jamor for the second year running, while Guimarães will be looking to save a disastrous season with the only chance of Europe they have.
Cup-holders Vitória de Setúbal continue on to the semi-finals along with FC Porto, Sporting and Vitória de Guimarães after quarter-final day Wednesday. Last season's other finalists Benfica were knocked out by Guimarães.
Home side Vitória de Setúbal went in front on 38 minutes in the afternoon kick-off against Boavista, Varela taking advantage of some sloppy defending from Cadú to lash the ball home past Khadim. João Pinto equalised on the hour with a shot from the edge of the area. Into the second half of extra time, Cadú handled accidentally in the box (Boavista had had a similar claim turned down in the first half) and Carlitos sent the spot kick straight down the middle. A few minutes later, Boavista captain João Pinto, just back from suspension, was shown a second yellow for protests. After the game, which had finished in exactly the same way as last year's semi-final between the same teams, there was reportedly trouble in the tunnel involving players, staff, security guards and the match officials.
Benfica went behind at the Luz to a Dário goal on 20 minutes, bundling in from close range after Flávio Meireles appeared to have handled a cross down. Vitória de Guimarães had their backs to the wall for most of the rest of the game and can thank 'keeper Nilson for a series of brilliant saves. But even when Vitória captain Cléber was sent off in the later stages, Benfica could not capitalise on the numerical advantage and thus go out.
Coach-less Marítimo took FC Porto to extra time in Madeira after Kanu had put Marítimo in front and Benni McCarthy had equalised. McCarthy it was who got the winner. Porto's Pepe was sent off.
Sporting had the most comfortable passage, going through 2-0 at Académica thanks to goals by Deivid and Nani, a spectacular shot from outside the box
The draw was made Monday for the quarter-finals of the Taça de Portugal, with all of the Big Three kept apart: FC Porto travel to Madeira to play Marítimo, Sporting visit Académica and Benfica receive Vitória de Guimarães. Holders Vitória de Setúbal are at home to Boavista. The ties are due to be played on 15 March.
There were no suprises in the sixth round of the Taça Wednesday, and for the quarter-finals, the draw for which will take place on 13 February, there are only Liga sides left in the hat.
Benfica hosted one of two all-Liga games. An organised, super-defensive Nacional took them to penalties at the Luz after there were no goals in 120 minutes, but the penalties went Benfica's way, Simão slotting home the winner after captain Patacas had blasted Nacional's fourth over the bar. Simão thus made up for missing a penalty in normal time, on the 37th minute.
Boavista visited Estrela da Amadora in the other all-Liga game and got through with a single goal from defender Hélder Rosário in the first half.
Sporting struggled to beat Segunda [third division] side Paredes at Alvalade. Nélson Campos put the minnows ahead on just five minutes, but Spanish striker Koke got his first for Sporting to equalise on 17. It looked like it was going into extra-time when Moutinho put Sporting through from the spot in added time after a hand-ball in the area.
Holders Vitória de Setúbal are through after a 2-0 win at Lixa of the Segunda, on-loan players Carlitos (Benfica) and Varela (Sporting) with the goals.
Vitória de Guimarães cast off their Liga woes to beat Segunda side Oliveirense 2-0 at home with goals by Antchouet and Moreno in either half.
Ali in the first half and Kanu and Ferreira in the second saw Marítimo through against III Divisão [fourth division] side Vila Meã on a pond of a pitch in Madeira.
Académica beat Liga de Honra [second division] side Desportivo das Aves, who twice hit the bar, 2-1. Vítor Manuel put through his own goal to give Académica the lead, Édu equalised for Aves and Joeano decided the tie.
FC Porto are the eighth side through; they had a bye.
The draw for the Sixth Round of the Taça took place on Monday. There are two all-Liga games: Benfica at home to Nacional and Estrela da Amadora at home to Boavista. Sporting have what looks like an easy task at home to Paredes of the Segunda (third division). Holders Vitória de Setúbal have to travel to Segunda club Lixa. FC Porto have a bye. (see draw)
The Portuguese Football Federation has donated its share of last week's cup tie between Tourizense and Benfica to the former Tourizense player Humberto Miranda , paraplegic after a car accident.
Three FC Porto fans (from the SuperDragões claque) were assaulted Wednesday, two of them stabbed, after the Tourizense v Benfica Taça de Portugal tie. A fruit of their good relations with the Liga side, Tourizense had sent 300 tickets to FC Porto, and Porto had given them to the claque to do with what they would. There were insults between the fans of the two Grandes during the game, then the assualts occurred afterwards outside the ground.
There were a number of forged tickets going around the Tourizense ground before the game, and many suckers bit. The club admitted that they had sold, officially, just 8,135 tickets, but that many more had appeared. The blame went to the ease with which the tickets could be forged as they didn't carry a watermark or any kind of security seal.
The Fifth Round of the Taça reiterated, if such were necessary, the parlous state of Portuguese football in terms of paying support. Tourizense versus Benfica actually had a good gate for a Segunda Liga club (8,153), with people turned away at the ... gate. But other ties were highly indicative of the malaise affecting the game here:
Vitória de Guimarães v Estoril - 5,000
Sporting v Vizela - 7,900
Naval v FC Porto - 1,500 (!)
Boavista v Abrantes - 700 (!!)
The Fifth Round of the Taça saw one big surprise and some close calls. Desportivo das Aves of the Liga de Honra (second division) knocked out Sporting Braga, riding high in the Liga, but it took penalties after extra-time to do it. The Três Grandes are all through, Sporting and Benfica against lowly opposition, FC Porto with the most difficult task on their trip to fellow Liga club Naval. A Lucho González penalty decided it for them 2-1 (see results).
The next round, involving the last 16, will be played on 25 January. The draw will be on 16 January.
The draw for the fifth round of the Taça has thrown up few surprises. Two of the Três Grandes, Benfica and Sporting, have on-paper easy ties: at home to Tourizense (II) and Vizela (LH) respectively. FC Porto have a tougher task: away at Naval of the Liga, the only all-Liga tie of the round.
Naval of the Liga had a hard time against Pontassolense of the Segunda (third division) in the final game of the fourth round of the Taça Sunday, but they go into the hat for the fifth round, to be drawn 17 November, with a goal on 77 minutes from Guerra.
Paços de Ferreira of the Liga were knocked out of the Taça at home Saturday by Tourizense of the Segunda Liga (third division). Xano got the only goal of the game.
The teams through to the Fifth Round so far are:
Vitória de Guimarães
Vitória de Setúbal
Estrela da Amadora
Liga de Honra:
Desportivo das Aves
Naval of the Liga receive Pontassolense of the Segunda Sunday.
There were various surprises in the fourth round of the Taça de Portugal, played out Wednesday.
Penafiel crashed out 4-0 at Segunda Liga (third division) side Lixa, and Belenenses went out 1-0 at Desportivo das Aves of the Liga de Honra (second division). It was Belenenses fifth consecutive defeat, and coach Carlos Carvalhal may have led the team for the last time. The same goes for Luís Castro at Penafiel, who are bottom of the Liga and now out of the Cup. Also out to lower-league opposition are Rio Ave, who lost at home to Ribeirão of the Segunda on penalties, the game finishing 0-0 after extra time. Other Liga teams out, but at least to their peers, were Gil Vicente (3-2 at Académica) and União de Leiria (1-0 at Sporting Braga)
The Três Grandes all won. Sporting beat Liga de Honra side Varzim at home 2-0, Liedson and Miguel Garcia scoring in a five-minute burst in the second half. Meanwhile, FC Porto beat Honra side Marco at home with a goal by Ivanildo, but the team got whistled on the night for a less than impressive performance.
Benfica had a hard time of it in front of 16,000 at Boavista's Bessa Stadium, borrowed for the night by Leixões. The Honra side gave as good as they got and were level coming into the final straight. The game was notable for some fine goals: Simão chipped a beauty on 11 minutes, to put Benfica in front, Nuno Amaro bent a free-kick in from a tight angle on 38, but Simão sentenced the tie on 85 with a superb curled shot from outside the area, although he had clearly fouled João Pedro to win the ball in the first place.
The draw for the fourth round of the Taça de Portugal threw up two all-Liga ties: Sporting Braga v União de Leiria and Académica v Gil Vicente. Last season's cup winners, Vitória de Setúbal, visit Fafe of the Segunda (third division). The games will be played on or around 26 October.
This weekend saw the third round of the Taça de Portugal. Minor shocks were the elimination of Moreirense of the Liga de Honra (second division, last season in the top division) by Nelas of the Segunda (third division). Also out to lower division opposition are Chaves, Maia and Beira-Mar (Liga de Honra, top division last season). (see results). The draw for the fourth round, in which teams from the top division enter, will be on Monday 10/10.
The draw was made Monday for the first round of this season's Taça de Portugal, involving teams from the District Leagues and the Third Division, by zone. 140 teams line up on the starting blocks. Games will be played on or around 4 September.