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Benfica wins to hold lead as Porto falters

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm •  Published: March 2, 2014

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Benfica beat Belenenses 1-0 away on Sunday to maintain its five-point lead in the Portuguese league, while champion FC Porto slipped nine points adrift of the leaders.

Nicolas Gaitan caught goalkeeper Matt Jones off his line to score the winner for Benfica, which extended its unbeaten run to 21 games.

Second-place Sporting Lisbon beat Braga 2-1 on Saturday.

Porto's hopes of defending its crown look slim after it surrendered a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at Guimaraes on Sunday.

Ricardo Quaresma's penalty put Porto ahead before it went up 2-0 in the 41st-minute through Lica.

But Ouwo Maazou replied for the hosts in first-half stoppage time before turning provider for Marco Matias to level in the 52nd.

Elsewhere, Gil Vicente beat Setubal 1-0 and Pacos Ferreira defeated Maritimo 3-1.