Sporting scored in the opening minute with a fine header from Liedson but Benfica levelled in the 23rd minute thanks to Italian striker Fabrizio Miccoli. The result left Sporting second in the Portuguese Liga on 59 points, three points behind leaders FC Porto and one ahead of third-placed Benfica with three rounds to play.
'We deserved to win'
Benfica coach Fernando Santos felt his team should have secured a win in front of their home fans. "We wanted the three points in order to cut Porto's lead and to go above Sporting," he said. "We conceded very early and that altered the match in the first 15 or 20 minutes but from then on we controlled the game and got an equaliser. In the second half we were better than our opponents and had three chances to score. We deserved to win."
Sporting coach Paulo Bento was not sure about that assessment, saying: "A draw is a fair result but if someone had to have won it, it would have to be my team. There are still three games to play and nine points to be played for. We are close to Porto and we will fight until the end but we only have a shot at the title if Porto lose again. If not, we have to focus on finishing second and securing a place in the UEFA Champions League group stage."
Elsewhere, Vitória FC were held 1-1 at home by CS Marítimo, A. Naval 1º de Maio lost 1-0 at home to CD Das Aves and CD Nacional beat visitors CF Estrela da Amadora by the same margin.
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