FC Porto and Benfica maintain their title charge and Dost keeps on scoring…

No surprises in the Portuguese League in its 25th round, with the two big contenders for the title confirming their good moment of form and getting secure wins. FC Porto was the first to play, on Friday, and they were brilliant once again, propelled by their new striker Tiquinho Soares. The Brazilian, former Vit.Guimarães, has been absolutely unplayable, scored in every single match he was involved in for Liga Nos with the Dragões and was clearly the missing link in a team that, before his arrival, played well but was unable to get results. Now Porto has nine wins in a row and an impressive 18-0 in in their last five and Soares contributed with 9 goals in seven matches.

Playing only on Monday, after the defeat at Dortmund, SL Benfica was under pressure to get a result, as the derby against in coming soon, as they hosted city-rivals Belenenses, and they did not disappoint. A great start meant the return of morale and in the second half Os Encarnados dismantled their opponents, with goals from Mitroglu, Salvio and Jonas, three of the most notable Benfica players. Both contenders won their matches 4-0 and they seem ready for the big match, in the first weekend of April, the match that will be a big help to determine who’ll be crowned Portuguese champion.

Sporting CP has a very ungrateful end of season ahead of them, not much to fight for, as they are 11 points behind 2nd place but also have a good advantage over Sp.Braga that sits 4th, meaning that unless something really unexpected happens, they will get 3rd place. The only thing about Sporting that has some interest at the moment is to see how many goals will Bas Dost end up having in the end of the season. He scored four goals in the Leões win at Tondela (1-4) and still missed a penalty, getting his tally to an impressive 22, almost half of Sporting’s league goals, and inserting himself in the fight for best goalscorer in Europe – Only Messi has more at the moment.

Sp.Braga and VSC, 4th and 5th respectively, drew their matches, opening up the fight for European spots in a round that resulted in 30 goals (a very good tally for the average in Portugal) guaranteeing that Liga Nos will be emotional until the end. On a last note, Iuri Medeiros (Boavista, on loan from Sporting CP) shinned in his team 3-0 win over Maritimo with 2 fabulous free-kicks (and an assist) that deserved to be watched.

About the Author

Pedro Maria Coito Castano
A football geek that can answer what's the height of that non-league midfielder. With no ability to play the game, but a keen eye to observe it, I've had a minor role as an assistant manager at an U-13 team in Portugal (Belenenses) and did some scouting for CS Maritimo (also from Portugal), and have a need to be ahead of everyone in terms of who the next big star will be