Porto beat Sporting Lisbon in Portuguese league

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Porto (Portugal), March 3 (IANS) FC Porto defeated Sporting Lisbon 2-1 here to increase their lead at the top of the Primeira Liga.

Their seventh straight win on Friday boosted Porto to 67 points at the top of the Portuguese football league, a margin of eight over second-place Benfica, who are tied with Sporting at 59 but sit second on goal difference and have a game in hand.

Both sides were missing starters for the contest at Porto’s Estadio Do Dragão, which marked the fourth time this season that the traditional rivals have faced other in all competitions, reports Efe news agency.

The previous meetings resulted in a draw, a Sporting win on penalties and a Porto victory.

The hosts dominated in the early going and took the lead in the 29th minute when Ivan Marcano headed-in Hector Herrera’s cross.

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Already trailing, Sporting then had to replace the injured Seydou Doumbia with youngster Rodrigo Leão, but the sub transformed what looked like a setback into a boon.

Just two minutes after coming onto the pitch, Leão took a great pass from Bryan Ruiz and beat Porto keeper Iker Casillas from close range to bring Sporting level.

But Porto returned from the break rejuvenated and went ahead 2-1 in the 49th minute with a goal by Yacimi Brahimi.

Sporting battled on and spent the final minutes camped out in Porto’s end, where a Freddy Montero strike forced Casillas to make a save and another Leão effort grazed the outside of the post.

Undefeated in the Primeira this season, Porto seem to be on track for their first title in four seasons.

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–IANS

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