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Portugal round-up: Zahovic inspires Benfica

Slovenia playmaker Zlatko Zahovic inspired SL Benfica to a 3-1 away win at FC Alverca on Sunday.

Zlatko Zahovic inspired SL Benfica to a 3-1 away win at FC Alverca on Sunday as the Lisbon club moved level on points with third-placed FC Porto.

Injury problems
Zahovic, who has spent a large part of this season injured since signing from Valencia CF in the summer, fired Benfica into the lead in the 58th minute. The Slovenian international hit a left-footed shot home from inside the penalty area following a corner. João Pinto put Benfica two goals up two minutes later, heading in Zahovic's corner.

Great solo run
Alverca's Brazilian striker Caju pulled a goal back ten minutes from time, scoring his seventh of the season from close range after strike partner Paulo Zeferino's shot was palmed into his path by Benfica goalkeeper Robert Enke. Yugoslavian international midfield player Ljubjnko Drulovic ended a great solo run by netting Benfica's third goal two minutes into injury time.

Survival boost
Relegation-threatened Varzim SC gave their survival hopes a massive boost with a surprise 1-0 away win at high-flying UD Leiria. Marco Freitas scored the only goal of the game in the 70th minute.

Late leveller
CS Marítimo wasted the chance to move above Leira after only managing a 1-1 draw at Gil Vicente FC. Sixth-placed Marítimo were lucky even to get a point, Brazilian Oliveira Richardson grabbing an equaliser in the fourth minute of time added on to cancel out Paulo Alves's fifth-minute opener for the home side. In the day's other game, CD Santa Clara and SC Salgueiros shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the São Miguel stadium.