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Portugal round-up: Sporting join Benfica at the top

Published: Monday 2 September 2002, 0.28CET
Champions Sporting Clube de Portugal beat CD Santa Clara 2-1 to move level leaders SL Benfica.

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Published: Monday 2 September 2002, 0.28CET

Portugal round-up: Sporting join Benfica at the top

Champions Sporting Clube de Portugal beat CD Santa Clara 2-1 to move level leaders SL Benfica.

Champions Sporting Clube de Portugal beat CD Santa Clara 2-1 on Sunday to move level with SL Benfica and Vitória Guimarães at the top of the Portuguese Super Liga.

Beto free-kick
After several golden opportunities, Sporting opened the scoring two minutes before half-time when central defender Beto crashed in a free-kick. Santa Clara bounced back quickly and levelled matters in the 52nd minute, as João Pedro kept his cool from the penalty spot after Facundo Quiroga had tripped Ceará in the area.

Pedro Barbosa winner
However, Sporting captain Pedro Barbosa sealed the victory for the hosts in the 61st minute, also from the penalty spot, after Ricardo Quaresma had been pushed in the box.

Best start
Benfica are level with Sporting on six points after a 2-0 away win against SC Beira-Mar on Saturday. The victory ensured Benfica of their best league start since 1979/80.

Simão hits the spot
The Lisbon side started the match in sprightly fashion and opened the scoring after just eight minutes when Brazilian central defender Argel was on hand to head in a Simão corner at the far post after a deflection by Nuno Gomes. The visitors then had two goals ruled out before Simão, the former FC Barcelona winger, scored from the penalty spot - just as he did last weekend against CS Marítimo.

Hot Pepa
In Póvoa do Varzim, hosts Varzim SC struggled to beat newly promoted Moreirense FC, with the only goal of the match being scored by former Benfica striker Pepa in the 51st minute. Paulo Vida could have doubled their lead at the death but his shot came back off a post.

No mercy from Marítimo
On Madeira Island, CS Marítimo beat UD Leiria 2-0 with goals from Brazilian strikers Gaúcho and Rafael Jaques in the eleventh and 51st minutes.

Breathtaking match
Vitória Guimarães also have maximum points after narrowly beating CD Nacional 3-2 on Saturday. Guimarães, playing their home matches in Felgueiras due to the renovation of their stadium, scored first through Pedro Mendes after 17 minutes. But Nacional soon equalised and even took the lead, before Romeu scored twice late on to secure the three points.

Solo efforts
CF Os Belenenses and SC Braga both grabbed their first wins of the season after drawing their opening fixtures. Belenenses defeated Clube Académica de Coimbra 2-0 thanks to two fine solo efforts from playmaker Neca (25) and midfielder Marco Paulo (88), while Braga beat FC Paços de Ferreira by a single goal through Vítor Castanheira in the 18th minute.

Happy return
Vitória Setúbal coach Luís Campos returned to Gil Vicente FC's Adelino Ribeiro Novo stadium in Barcelos and showed his former club that he still has the winning touch as Setúbal grabbed the three points with a Jorginho goal four minutes after the interval.

Suspensions for Porto
FC Porto take on Boavista FC on Monday, when Porto will be without winger Nuno Capucho, coach José Mourinho and his deputy António André through suspension.

Last updated: 02/09/02 2.47CET

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