With the Portuguese League on hold until mid-January, the League Cup became the center of football fans’ attention during the weekend. And for a good reason, too: Sporting Lisbon and FC Porto met last night at Alvalade, in Lisbon, and the current form of both teams was raising all expectations for the match.
The outcome, though, was not as glamorous as most guesses predicted. Despite being a competitive match, with good chances for both sides, the goalless draw persisted and Lions and Dragons shared the spoils. The result was the same as in the opening game of the group, between Marítimo and Penafiel, which took place Sunday afternoon.
In group C, trophy holders Braga secured an important win by 2-1 at Estoril and will now wait at the top of the table for the clash between Belenenses and Beira-Mar, scheduled for this Monday, at 18h00.
Rio Ave have also got off to a good start, beating Paços de Ferreira at home by 2-0 and taking the leadership in group A. The first round will only be concluded the 8th of January, when Second League side Sporting da Covilhã play at Vitória de Setúbal.
Finally, Group D will be the last to kick-off, tonight, at 20h45, with Benfica travelling to Madeira to play at Choupana, home to a Nacional that have already managed to steal points at the grounds of FC Porto and Sporting. Nevertheless, when both teams met in Lisbon, last October, Benfica beat Nacional by 2-0 and they will be hoping to repeat the stunt.
Group D’s first round will be completed the 8th of January, when Gil Vicente faces Leixões in Barcelos.