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Pair close in as Benfica lose

Published: Monday 11 April 2005, 17.28CET
Sporting Clube de Portugal and SC Braga are both now within three points of SuperLiga leaders SL Benfica.

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Published: Monday 11 April 2005, 17.28CET

Pair close in as Benfica lose

Sporting Clube de Portugal and SC Braga are both now within three points of SuperLiga leaders SL Benfica.
Single-goal victories against SC Beira-Mar and GD Estoril-Praia respectively saw Sporting Clube de Portugal and SC Braga move to within three points of Portuguese Superliga leaders SL Benfica after the leaders lost by the same margin at Rio Ave FC.

May showdown
Sporting took to the Estádio José Alvalade field on Sunday in the knowledge that maximum points would see their title charge gather momentum as FC Porto had fallen to a 1-0 derby defeat at Boavista FC the day before. Despite attacking Beira-Mar from the off, however, Sporting only sealed the success in the 84th minute when Liedson pounced for his 24th SuperLiga goal of the season. On Monday Braga joined Sporting on 51 points as João Tomás’s early goal proved enough to secure victory and keep hosts Estoril in the bottom three, having been overtaken by Gil Vicente on Sunday following their 0-0 draw at mid-table Vitória FC.

Trophyless Porto?
Benfica paid the price for not taking their chances at Dos Arcos as Rio Ave's Miguelito sealed an impressive win for the seventh-placed side in the final minute. The Porto derby also ended 1-0, Cadú's 51st-minute header enabling Boavista to climb above the reigning champions into fourth place by virtue of a superior head-to-head record than the title-holders, who face a season without a trophy for the first time in three campaigns.

UEFA Cup claims
Vitória SC continue to climb the SuperLiga, the Guimarães-based side extending their unbeaten sequence to six games by winning 1-0 at UD Leiria thanks to Marco Ferreira's strike. The home team had their goalkeeper, Helton, dismissed on 19 minutes and struggled to cope with the numerical disadvantage as Vitória in sixth strengthened their claims for a UEFA Cup slot.

Académica point
A. Académica de Coimbra are three points away froma relegation zone following a 0-0 Monday draw with CF Os Belenenses, but Moreirense FC remain deep in trouble after Jorge Jesus's first game in charge resulted in a 1-0 defeat by FC Penafiel on Sunday. In Friday's Madeira derby, CS Marítimo beat CD Nacional 2-1, Brazilian player Ferreira scoring the decisive goal with a minute to go.

Last updated: 12/04/05 0.29CET

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