Portugal round-up: Benfica beaten

Benfica SL spurned the chance to go top of the Portuguese first division after losing for the first time this season on Saturday.

Benfica SL spurned the chance to go to the top of the Portuguese first division after losing for the first time this season on Saturday.

Scored with ease
Benfica went down 2-1 at FC Paços de Ferreira. They were behind after eleven minutes when Zé Manuel went past Benfica goalkeeper Robert Enke and scored with ease. The visitors were back in it two minutes later through defender João Manuel Pinto.

Enke brilliant
Paços took the lead again in the 25th minute when Zé Manuel crossed from the right side and Leonardo headed past Robert Enke. But for Enke’s brilliance in the second half, Benfica could well have conceded more.

Porto surprised
Another surprising result on Saturday saw FC Porto go down 2-0 at Vitória Guimarães. The hosts scored in the second minute when defender Marco Couto headed home a Carlos Fangueiro free-kick. The second came in the last minute of the first half and was scored by playmaker Nuno Assis. Porto had plenty of opportunities, but in-form French goalkeeper Jerome Palatsi made another string of fantastic saves. Porto remain top of the table because of Benfica’s defeat.

Volleyed goal
Saturday’s final match saw SC Braga win 3-2 despite trailing at one point to SC Beira Mar. Senegalese striker Fary Faye, the second top scorer in the league, scored with a volley after a cross from the right side by Brazilian midfield player Juninho Petrolina with 31 minutes played.

Barata gets winner
Braga drew level in the 45th minute through José Barroso when his free-kick rebounded in the wall and deceived goalkeeper Nuno Santos. Beira were back in front in the 63rd minute when Juninho Petrolina scored from close range. The game was tied again three minutes later when a  long cross from right back José Nuno Azevedo found Brazilian striker Miran between two defenders and he headed home. The game was finally won in the 69th minute when Vítor Castanheira took a corner from the right side and his cross found Brazilian striker Barata alone to score with a header.