This was the final Matchweek before the international break but who managed to grab the headlines this week in the Portuguese Primeira Liga?
Match of the Round – Belenenses 2-2 Portimonense
Portimonense and Belenenses had to share the points at the Estádio Nacional this week but the visitors will be disappointed that they only managed a point given that they let a two goal lead slip in the Portuguese capital.
Portimonense clearly took a lot of confidence from their 5-1 win over Nacional last weekend as they moved ahead inside the opening three minutes at the Estadio Nacional when Aylton Boa Morte headed home from Bruno Tabata’s cross to make it 1-0.
The visitors kept up the pressure as Henrique’s long range shot forced a save from Muriel Becker before the visitors doubled their advantage when Boa Morte’s low cross picked out an unmarked Jackson Martinez, who fired the ball past the Belenenses goalkeeper with the aid of a slight deflection.
The hosts were staring at their seventh defeat of the season and their response in the first half was pretty disappointing as a low shot from Nuno Coelho was the best they could offer before Muriel Becker was needed to prevent his side from falling 3-0 down as he pulled off a fabulous save from Henrique by pushing his close range shot around the post.
However, whatever Silas’ managed to tell the players at half time certainly worked as Belenenses were much improved after the break. They halved the deficit fairly quickly as Lica’s powerful shot was too much for Portimonense’s goalkeeper Ricardo Ferreira as he could only palm the ball into the side netting of the goal while a long range strike from Jonatan Lucca made it 2-2 in the 66th minute.
The hosts even had a chance to win it late on as Nuno Coelho connected with a corner but the midfielder couldn’t quite direct his header on target as the ball sailed narrowly wide of the far post. A point proved to be better than nothing, though, as the hosts extended their unbeaten run to four matches while the visitors are still looking for their first away win since January.
Team of the Round – Vitória Guimarães
With sixth place in the Primeira Liga likely to be enough for a Europa League place this season, Vitória Guimarães improved their chances of claiming the final place as they secured a 3-1 home victory over Boavista this week.
The hosts came into the match having lost their derby against Braga last week but they seemed to be determined to get back to winning ways against Boavista on Saturday as they took the lead inside seven minutes. Ola John was afforded too much time and space on the right before the Dutch winger crossed for Mattheus Oliveira to head past Rafael Bracali from close range to make it 1-0.
The home pressure continued as Toze’s long range shot forced a good save from the Brazilian goalkeeper before Boavista were indebted to their goalkeeper again as he denied the ex-Porto midfielder from close range while also tipping a shot from Rafa Soares around the post later on in the half.
Given Guimarães’ dominance in the first half, it seemed incredible that they were pegged back after half time but Boavista managed to score against the run of play when Federico Falcone scuffed a shot past Miguel Silva on the rebound with VAR overturning the assistant referee’s original decision to rule out the goal for offside.
Parity only lasted for around two minutes, though, as Mattheus Oliveira crossed for Davidson to fire home at the second attempt before a teasing free kick from Mattheus allowed the hosts to claim a third goal when Pedro Henrique managed to loop his header just inside the far post to make it 3-1.
Guimarães had a decent chance to extend the lead as Yordan Osorio headed narrowly wide late on but the hosts were clear and deserved winners at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques on Saturday as they made it three consecutive home wins while ensuring that Boavista remain in the relegation battle.
Player of the Round – Ronan
Rio Ave recorded their first victory in five matches in the Primeira Liga as a solitary goal from Brazilian forward Ronan in the first half was enough to beat relegation threatened Nacional on Sunday.
This first half certainly won’t be remembered as a classic as opportunities were scarce for both teams but it was Nacional who had the first real chance of the match when Sardor Rashidov was forced wide after rounding Léo Jardim but the Uzbekistan forward came close to finding the back of the net as he fired narrowly wide of the far post.
However, Rio Ave’s response was to open the scoring almost immediately as a long ball forward eventually found Ronan with the Brazilian forward’s shot taking a massive deflection before rolling into the back of the net to hand the visitors the lead.
Nacional responded after half time with Witi’s shot going over the bar before Mauro Cerqueira’s cross flashed across the face of goal as they tried to apply some pressure to the visiting defence. Nacional were still struggling to break Rio Ave down, though, and they had to wait until late in the match before Brayan Riascos managed to force Léo Jardim into a save when his cross had to be pushed away at the near post by the Brazilian goalkeeper.
The hosts had one final chance after that but after Lazar Rosic’s header was brilliantly saved by Léo Jardim from a corner, Rio Ave held onto the three points to move into the top half of the table.
Sporting CP have managed to record three consecutive wins in the Primeira Liga for the first time since December as a solitary goal from Raphinha helped them to a victory over Santa Clara.
Aves 0-1 Chaves
Belenenses 2-2 Portimonense
CD Nacional 0-1 Rio Ave
Moreirense 0-4 Benfica
Porto 3-0 Marítimo
Sporting CP 1-0 Santa Clara
Tondela 1-1 Feirense
Vitória Guimarães 3-1 Boavista
Vitória Setúbal 0-1 Braga