SL Benfica beat CD Santa Clara 2-1 on Sunday to move to within a point of I. Divisão leaders FC Porto.
It was not all plain sailing for the Lisbon club, however, as they fell behind to a fourth-minute opener from Rui Gregório. The defender climbed above the Benfica defence to head home a corner from Spanish midfield player Miner.
Benfica hauled themselves back into the game from the spot in the 18th minute. Simão Sabrosa scored the penalty after he was felled in the box by goalkeeper Fernando following an excellent through ball from Angola striker Pedro Mantorras.
The same players linked up for what turned out to be the winning goal, with Mantorras this time the man on target five minutes before half-time. Benfica owed their victory to goalkeeper Robert Enke after the German produced a string of excellent saves to thwart Santa Clara, who are now third from bottom.
Also in Lisbon, CF Os Belenenses struggled to beat Gil Vicente FC 1-0, even though the visitors had to play with ten men for 65 minutes after Nilton was dismissed in the first half for two bookable offences. Brazilian striker José Afonso headed home the only goal five minutes from time, before Marcão missed a penalty following a foul by Joca, who was also sent off.
Two for Leonardo
FC Paços de Ferreira thumped Varzim SC 3-0 away to emphatically end the home side's hopes of closing the gap at the bottom on FC Alverca, who were held 1-1 at home by UD Leiria. Brazilian striker Leonardo scored either side of a 44th minute Mauro effort to move Paços up to 13th after the same number of games.
Alverca fell behind to a 57th-minute goal by Brazilian forward Maciel before Caju scored a penalty eleven minutes from time after Angolan international striker Quinzinho was tripped by Brazilian defender Eder, who was sent-off. The match between SC Beira Mar and Vitória Guimarães ended goalless, largely due to the heroics of both goalkeepers.
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