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Sporting step up title challenge

Published: Monday 18 April 2005, 22.48CET
Victory at Moreirense FC has moved Sporting Clube de Portugal to within a point of SuperLiga leaders SL Benfica.

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Published: Monday 18 April 2005, 22.48CET

Sporting step up title challenge

Victory at Moreirense FC has moved Sporting Clube de Portugal to within a point of SuperLiga leaders SL Benfica.
By Hugo Pietra

Sporting Clube de Portugal went second in the Portuguese SuperLiga tonight thanks to a 3-1 win at bottom side Moreirense FC.

First-half lead
With leaders SL Benfica held to a 1-1 draw at home by UD Leiria on Saturday, both SC Braga and champions FC Porto took full advantage over the weekend by recording victories that cut the gap at the top. Sporting approached tonight's game knowing a win would move them within a point of Benfica and above Braga on goal difference, and the visitors duly went in front in the 32nd minute through Cameroonian forward Roudolphe Douala after a clinical counterattack.

Sporting surge
Sporting were pegged back midway through the second half as midfield player Fernando brought Moreirense level with a fine free-kick, but parity lasted only four minutes as Sá Pinto restored Sporting's advantage with 19 minutes remaining. A third goal from prolific Brazilian forward Liedson five minutes later sealed three important points for the UEFA Cup semi-finalists to leave the Portuguese title race intriguingly poised with seven games to play.

Last updated: 19/04/05 12.22CET

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