Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

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FC Porto press on as Sporting stumble

by Chris Wright, in Sport · 09-11-2017 15:42:00 · 0 Comments

With their sixth consecutive home win in the Primeira Liga, FC Porto moved four points clear of Sporting who had to share the points with SC Braga at the Alvalade. Benfica moved to within a point of their Lisbon rivals with victory at Vitória de Guimarães.

FC Porto press on as Sporting stumble

Following their 3-1 victory over RB Leipzig in the Champions League, FC Porto returned to league action against Belenenses and it was no surprise to see Sérgio Conceição’s side dominate the Lisbon outfit with both Héctor Herrera and Hernâni going close to breaking the deadlock within the first ten minutes.
Even so the Dragons had to wait until three minutes before the interval for the opening goal when Héctor Herrera slotted home.  Muriel kept the Belém outfit in the game with a crucial double stop from Sérgio Oliveira before Vincent Aboubakar doubled the leaders advantage on the cusp of stoppage time.
Following their Champions League draw with Juventus in Lisbon, Sporting will remain in contention to qualify for the knockout stages if they beat Olympiacos in Lisbon on 22 November but will be unable to be finish in the top two if they lose.
Their opponents last weekend, SC Braga can still qualify for the next stage of the Europa League after a very creditable 1-1 draw in Bulgaria against Ludogorets Razgrad.
So the stage was set for an enthralling encounter between Sporting and a resurgent SC Braga in Lisbon. Goal less at the interval, the game sparked into life when Bas Dost converted Bruno Fernandes’ near-post cross in the sixty-sixth minute to give Sporting the lead.
Drama was to follow in the closing minutes as Danilo Barbosa earned Braga a penalty for Dyego Souza to convert and four minutes later Danilo gave the visitors the lead. Sporting were on the verge of their first league defeat but, deep into stoppage time, a clumsy intervention from Ricardo Horta on Alan Ruiz culminated in a second penalty.
Bruno Fernandes made no mistake from the spot to level matters at 2-2. Benfica kept in touch with the top two as they hunt for a fifth consecutive Primeira Liga title.
A 3-1 win at Guimarães courtesy of goals from Jonas midway through the first-half and a double strike by Samaris and Salvio within the space of three minutes in the second period were enough to secure all three points.
Manager Rui Vitoria is still under pressure as the club’s disastrous Champions League campaign is over, having lost all four games to date. Only a miracle will see them qualify for the Europa League and to do so they must beat CSKA in Russia on 22 November and Basle at home on 5 December with CSKA losing both their games. Portimonense continue to pick up points and a 1-1 draw at Moreirense sees them maintain a reasonably healthy position in mid table.
Dener opened the scoring for Portimonense after just three minutes but the home side were soon level through Jhonder Cadiz. Following the international break, the Portimão- based team will play their next game at home to Tondela on Saturday 25 November 4pm at the Portimão Municipal Stadium.

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Edition 1450
18 November 2017
Edition: 1450

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter