Braga headline Saturday of football with four goals against struggling Estoril

Sporting de Braga have momentarily increased their lead over fourth-placed Sporting to eight points after defeating bottom-half Estoril 4-1 at home, this Saturday.

The Bracarenses fired themselves into the lead via Abel Ruiz prior to a Carlos Eduardo equaliser coming into the second period, applying pressure on Artur Jorge’s men.

A Pizzi finish and Iuri Medeiros penalty enabled a swift turnaround for Braga, however, who concluded a 4-1 victory courtesy of a Joe Mendes stunner.

Elsewhere, there were key wins for Arouca and Famalicão as the likes of Marítimo and Paços de Ferreira continue to struggle in the battle for Primeira Liga survival.


Arouca 1-0 Marítimo

In fine form, Europa League hopefuls Arouca welcomed relegation candidates Marítimo to the Estádio Municipal for a fiercely-contested search for all three points.

Despite the odds, however, the hosts were treated to a strong opening 30 minutes that only saw the score remain intact thanks to an alert Ignacio de Arruabarrena, called into action on a handful of occasions.

Contrarily, on their first purposeful venture up top, Arouca laid their imprint on the match with the game’s first goal, diverted in by Rafa Mújica inside the box.

The Spaniard’s goal served to rock Marítimo in the second half, failing to mount a charge until the final exchanges of stoppage time, where Arruabarrena again stood to deny the Madeira outfit, securing a 1-0 win for Arouca.


P. Ferreira 1-3 Famalicão

Lost in mid-table with supposedly little to play for, it was with good eyes that Paços, keen to step out of the automatic drop-zone, kept tabs on their home fixture against 9th-placed Famalicão.

With 32 minutes on the clock, Hernâni came close to putting Paços ahead prior to a point-blank save from Luiz Júnior, but there was to be a very different outcome between the two just a couple of minutes later after the forward slammed in a shot that gave the Castores the lead.

Jhonder Cádiz’s header levelled the score in the 41st minute to take both sides locked at 1-1 going into the second half, where the crafty Ivan Jaime would turn the game on its head with a 70th-minute goal, using the outside of his foot expertly.

The Spaniard’s finish was bettered only by his own effort in the 87th minute, curling in a shot from range into the top corner to manufacture a 3-1 win that deepens Paços’ crisis near the foot of the table.


Sp. Braga 4-1 Estoril

As the battle for a podium finish intensifies, Braga were out to do their bit with a victory at home to Estoril, potentially taking them eight points clear of fourth-placed Sporting prior to their match-up away to Casa Pia.

The hosts commenced with a 17th minute Ruiz tap-in, but the ex-Barcelona man’s goal was cancelled out fresh into the second period by Estoril’s Carlos Eduardo, despite the home side’s dominance.

In the 70th minute, Pizzi edged Braga back in front with a first-time finish from Victor Gómez cross, with the former Benfica man at the heart of the action again in the 80th minute after winning his side a key penalty.

Iuri Medeiros made no mistake when asked to convert from 12 yards, making it 3-1 before Mendes put the game beyond any doubt with a thumping effort in the 93rd minute, securing Braga’s fourth.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Matchday 27

Santa Clara 0-1 Vizela

Benfica 1-2 FC Porto

Boavista 2-1 Vitória

Arouca 1-0 Marítimo

P. Ferreira 1-3 Famalicão

Portimonense 2-2 Rio Ave

Sp. Braga 4-1 Estoril


Sunday 9th April

Casa Pia vs. Sporting