UEFA Futsal Cup holders SL Benfica boosted confidence ahead of this year's finals with a 4-1 Liga victory against fellow contenders Sporting Club de Portugal to secure top spot.
Article top media content
Joel Queirós scored twice to give SL Benfica a 4-1 win against fellow UEFA Futsal Cup semi-finalists Sporting Club de Portugal, giving the unbeaen Eagles an unassailable six-point regular season lead.
In the first of a possible three meetings between the two sides, which could include the UEFA Futsal Cup final on 1 May in Almaty, Déo gave Portuguese titleholders Sporting a 1-0 half-time lead. But Joel hit back for the reigning European champions two minutes after the break and Arnaldo Pereira then finished neatly to turn the match in Benfica's favour.
Diego Sol added a third for Benfica before Joel scored his 24th goal of the season to move level with Sporting's Cardinal at the top of the scoring charts. Benfica are assured of top seeding in the eight-team championship play-offs with Sporting set for second place.
"It was a fair result," said Benfica coach Paulo Fernandes. "My players were outstanding. I told them that the match will not be decided on details but on intelligence. We played a dream second half and we could have scored more goals as Cristiano [Sporting goalkeeper] had an excellent game."
The two teams could meet again in the UEFA Futsal Cup final in Kazakhstan on 1 May. Two days before in the semi-finals, Sporting play hosts Kairat Almaty and Benfica meet Italy's ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5. Benfica and Sporting will definitely play in the Portuguese Cup final on 8 May at Lisbon's Pavilhão Atlântico, the arena which staged the 2010 UEFA Futsal Cup final in front of a competition-record crowd of 9,400.