Liga Sagres wrap: Benfica up to second, high five for Sporting
Benfica defeated Pacos de Ferreira 2-1 on Sunday, with their first win in three Liga Sagres matches closing the gap on leaders Porto.
Hosts Pacos led from the 28th minute at Estadio do Mata Real through a goal from Michel Souza da Solva, and they held the advantage past the half-time break.
Nicolas Gaitan eventually levelled for the visitors on 63 minutes, and Bruno Cesar then put Benfica ahead when he scored five minutes later.
Any hope Pacos had of forcing an equaliser disappeared when they lost two players in the last 14 minutes.
First, goal-scorer Da Solva received his marching orders on 76 minutes, and he was joined in making an early exit by Ricardo Da Silva, who saw red with two minutes of the match remaining.
The win sees second-placed Benfica move to within a point of leaders Porto, who could only draw 1-1 at home to Academica on Saturday.
In the late kick-off, Sporting Lisbon returned to fourth place with an emphatic 5-0 win at home to Guimaraes.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel put Sporting ahead in the 21st minute at Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Matias Fernandez made it 2-0 five minutes into the second half, before Marat Izmailov's penalty and a late brace from Jeffren Suarez completed the thrashing.
Elsewhere, Nacional de Madeira came from behind four times to force an extraordinary 4-4 draw away to Olhanense.
The home side led through goals from Eduardo Fernandes Pereira, Salvador Agra, Pereira again, and a Wilson Eduardo penalty.
But Nacional refused to submit, with Mario Rondon's strike, two Mateus goals and finally Claudemir's effort somehow securing a point for the visitors.
There was considerably less drama in Beira Mar's match at home to Gil Vicente, with Zhang Chengdong's 62nd-minute goal securing a 1-0 victory for the hosts.
Finally, Christian Atsu, Vitor Gomes and Yazalde all scored as Rio Ave saw off the visit of Vitoria Setubal 3-0.