Portugal round-up: Win increases Sporting chance

Sporting Clube de Portugal moved on to leaders FC Porto's shoulders with a 2-1 win at Boavista FC.

Reigning champions Sporting Clube de Portugal moved on to unbeaten Super Liga leaders FC Porto's shoulders with a 2-1 win at Boavista FC.

Jardel on target
Mario Jardel put Sporting ahead in a tight match with a penalty at the end of the first half, and although Boavista equalised 20 minutes from full time through Martelinho, 17-year-old striker Cristiano Ronaldo restored the visitors' lead three minutes later to move them into third, level on points with second-placed Vitória Guimarães, who lost 3-2 at home to Varzim SC, missing a chance to go top.

Porto held
Porto's lead therefore increased to two points despite being held 2-2 at UD Leiria. Clayton put Porto ahead on eight minutes, only for João Paulo to level four minutes later. Although Deco immediately restored the visitors' lead, Edson's free-kick early in the second half gave Leiria a point, despite having João Manuel dismissed for a second bookable offence near the end.

Late escape
SL Benfica's slump in form continued as they were held at home by Clube Académica de Coimbra, the bottom club. Xano had even put the away side in sight of a shock win with his goal three minutes from time, and things looked even worse for Benfica when Miklós Fehér was sent off for violent conduct seconds later. But substitute Carlitos came to Benfica's rescue, converting Simão's cross three minutes into added time. However, Benfica, without a win in four games, lost midfield player Petit for a month with a broken jaw.

Belenenses form continues
CF Os Belenenses kept up their good form to go fourth with a 1-0 win against Moreirense FC thanks to Carlos Fernandes's first-half header, while CS Marítimo defeated FC Paços de Ferreira 2-0 with early goals from striker Gaúcho and winger Joel Santos. SC Beira-Mar overcame CD Santa Clara 2-1 and CD Nacional and Vitória Setúbal drew 1-1.

Monday match
On Monday night, SC Braga missed the chance to move within two points of Porto when they lost 3-0 against Gil Vicente FC.