By Carlos Machado
SC Braga missed the opportunity to move to within a point of Portuguese SuperLiga leaders SL Benfica as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at FC Penafiel on Monday night.
Portugal's surprise package this season, Braga went into the match knowing that victory would send them into second place, and Jesualdo Ferreira's side were quickly into their stride at Penafiel. In the 13th minute, Candido Costa's shot from the edge of the area hit both posts and rebounded to João Tomás, unmarked in front of goal, but the striker shot wide.
The home team were by no means overrun and created several chances of their own. Braga largely controlled the game, however, and Candido Costa went close again just past the hour, missing the target with only goalkeeper Nuno Santos to beat. Nevertheless, Penafiel continued to threaten on the counterattack and snatched the points 15 minutes from time, Ousmane N'Doye heading in a Clayton corner.
Up to tenth
Braga remain third, four points behind Benfica and one adrift of Sporting Clube de Portugal. Penafiel, meanwhile, climbed to tenth place having collected 37 points from 30 matches.
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