Benfica’s continuing slump reinforces FC Porto’s lead at table top

FC Porto have reopened a two-point-gap at the top of the Primeira Liga table after Benfica were held to a fourth consecutive league draw, this time away to Portimonense.

The Eagles, fresh from last week’s lamentable team bus attack, stormed to a 2-0 lead in the first half in what looked to be an overdue return to form in Portimão. Portimonense had other ideas, however, cancelling Benfica’s advantage in the final 25 minutes and registering a 2-2 draw on Wednesday night.

Porto followed up with a win at home versus Marítimo, as Jesús Corona’s early strike powered the Dragons to a narrow and potentially crucial 1-0 victory. PortuGOAL has more.

Portimonense 2-2 Benfica

All eyes were on how the Eagles would respond to their latest sub-par performance at home to Tondela in their travels to southern Portugal, where they’d meet a Portimonense side, deep in the relegation zone, just as desperate for a result as the current title holders.

Benfica got themselves off on the right foot, however, as Pizzi stepped up to silence his critics and hammer in Rafa Silva’s cutback in the 18th minute.

Fortune stuck beside the visitors after Lucas Possignolo missed Pizzi’s ball into the box completely to allow André Almeida all the time and space to volley past the goalkeeper and amplify Benfica’s lead.

From one captain to another, Dener initiated the fightback for Paulo Sérgio’s team in the 65th minute, rising highest from a Bruno Tabata corner to head in Portimonense’s first of the night.

Júnior Tavares landed the lasting blow, again from a set-piece as the defender picked up the scraps from a clearance to produce a wonder-strike from the edge of the box that would float into the top-left corner.

Tavares’ goal secured the hosts a crucial point in a 2-2 draw, subsequently handing Benfica their worst sequence of consecutive draws since 2008.


FC Porto 1-0 Marítimo

With the news emanating from Portimão confirming yet another Benfica slip-up, a win for Porto in their reconciliation with the Estádio do Dragão, against Marítimo, would see Sérgio Conceição’s men go a couple of points clear at the top of the table.

By fluke or design, Jesús Corona returned to the scoresheet to leave Porto well placed for a positive result in the 6th minute, catching Charles by surprise between the sticks with a looping volley on the turn finding the far corner in the 6th minute. 

Daizen Maeda could’ve dampened the mood in the 17th minute, however, after a whipped cross found the Japanese striker all alone at the back post before failing to adjust to the pace of the cross and slicing a volley wide.

Big chances at either end saw both Charles and Augustin Marchesin star between the sticks to keep the score tight at 1-0, as both sides capped off an entertaining first half of football.

The intensity would peak upon a far more pedestrian-like second half, however, marked by Alex Telles red card and Fabio Vieira’s professional Porto debut, with the Dragons sitting in and confirming a return to winning ways that sets them two points clear.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 26

Gil Vicente 1-3 FC Famalicão

Vit. Setúbal 2-2 Santa Clara

Portimonense 2-2 Benfica

FC Porto 1-0 Marítimo


Thursday 11th June

Belenenses vs. Vit. Guimarães

Tondela vs. Desp. Aves


Friday 12th June

Moreirense vs. Rio Ave

Sporting vs. P. Ferreira


Saturday 13th June

Sp. Braga vs. Boavista