Edition 1487
11 August 2018
Edition: 1487

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Sporting record first league defeat as FC Porto and Benfica march on

by Chris Wright, in Sport · 08-02-2018 14:11:00 · 0 Comments

Sporting were all at sea as they lost to Estoril Praia. Benfica hit five second-half goals to beat Rio Ave and FC Porto went two points clear at the top with half-a-game in hand. SC Portimonense, not having won a league game since November, racked up two spectacular victories in the space of a week! 

Sporting record first league defeat as FC Porto and Benfica march on

About half of Sporting’s goals this season have come from the Bas Dost and Gelson Martins combination so to lose both of them to injury presented manager, Jorge Jesus, with a headache. On a blustery evening on the Portuguese Riviera, it was the home side who took a twenty-sixth minute lead through Charalambos Kyriakou.
Just three minutes later, Ewandro slotted home a second with VAR validating the goal in spite of the initial offside call. Sporting had their chances but Sebastian Coates volleyed high and wide before Bruno Cesar saw a cruel bounce rob him of the chance to pull a goal back with the net at his mercy.
VAR ruled out a third Estoril goal before the Lions’ Fredy Montero had a late strike ruled out by the same process.
This unlikely 2-0 victory lifted Estoril out of the relegation zone. Porto manager, Sérgio Conceição, has used Sérgio Oliveira sparingly this season but the midfielder was on target to break the deadlock against SC Braga with a guided header in the thirteenth minute.
Raul Silva levelled matters on the half-hour mark as Os Arsenalistas looked to take the game to Porto, but it was the Dragons who regained the lead seven minutes later through Diego Reyes, following a set-play by Alex Telles.
The same player’s pinpoint cross was headed home by Vincent Aboubakar to give Telles a hat-trick of ‘assists’ in the 3-1 victory. 
FC Porto will need to be at their very best when they entertain Liverpool in the Champions League at the Estádio do Dragão on Wednesday evening.
A week later (21 February) the second-half of the game between Estoril and FC Porto will take place with Estoril leading 1-0. The game on15 January was abandoned at half-time after cracks appeared in a stand housing the Porto fans. 
Benfica found themselves a goal down at half-time as Hélder Guedes headed home a Francisco Geraldes cross after just nine minutes to give Rio Ave the lead. Three minutes after the interval Jardel rose like a salmon to head home Alejandro Grimaldo’s corner and Benfica were back in the game. Pizzi then added a second for the Eagles before Jonas made it three to complete a remarkable ten successive games on the score-sheet in all competitions for the Brazilian. Ruben Dias was on hand to grab a fourth seven minutes from time before Raúl Jiménez made it 5-1 two minutes later.
Despite losing two of their better players in the January transfer window, SC Portimonense recorded a stunning 4-1 victory at home to Rio Ave;  their first Primeira Liga victory since 25 November. The hero was their Brazilian centre-forward Fabrício who bagged a hat-trick and six days later he added another two goals as the Portimão-based outfit won 3-0 against Marítimo in Madeira. Fabrício will need to be on his very best form as Portimonense entertain Benfica at the Estádio Municipal de Portimão on Saturday evening at 8.30pm. 

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Edition 1487
11 August 2018
Edition: 1487

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

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