Following a mediocre, CR7 stomping World Cup, Portugal welcomed their new football season with Benfica hosting Guimaraes.
“Trizzi’s” hat-trick does the trick
Last year’s runners up, Benfica kicked off at the Estadio da Luz and rapidly fired themselves out the blocks within 10 minutes when Pizzi jumped on a nervy Guimaraes clearance and side-footed home.
Rui Vitoria couldn’t have wished for a better start for his side and when Salvio was brought down inside the penalty area just four minutes after the goal, Benfica were a spot kick away from being 2-0 up. New signing, Facundo Ferreyra stepped up and saw his tame penalty saved.
But penalty miss aside, Pizzi took stage and bagged his second in the 30th minute, firing his shot into the roof of the net after a crisp cutback by Andre Almeida. Eight minutes later Pizzi completed his opening day hat-trick with a beautifully created goal, Grimaldo’s fizzing pass across the edge of the penalty area was cunningly stepped over by Ferreyra, into the path of Pizzi who took one touch and placed a curling shot beyond Douglas.
Pizzi’s first half hat-trick was put under threat when Andre Andre pulled a goal back in the 76th minute which was closely followed five minutes later by Guilermo Celis who made it 3-2. But “As Aguias” held on to start their season with three points.
Five star show from Champions
Champions, Porto started their title defence hosting GD Chaves at the Estadio do Dragao. Porto’s fans were quickly reminded of Sergio Conceicao’s side and their brilliance when Otavio found Vincent Aboubakar inside the area who turned his marker and placed his shot in the bottom left corner in the 14th minute.
Six minutes later, the Cameroonian tapped into an empty net for his and Porto’s second. Yacine Brahimi then put Porto out of sight with a stunning individual effort, the Algerian twisted his way into the area and squeezed his shot just inside the front post to make it 3-0 just before half-time.
With the game all but won, the second half was quiet until Jesus Corona scored Porto’s fourth with another superb solo goal. Chaves were brought down to 10 men in the 80th minute when Joao Teixeira was deemed to be out of control with his tackle on Sergio Oliveira and was shown red after a VAR check just five minutes after coming on.
Mouandilmadji Marius closed the scoring on the night with a simple header from close range and bagged Porto’s all three points.
Dost double drowns Moreirense
On the other side of Lisbon, Sporting have survived their club’s turmoil and presidency nightmare and kept a few of their stars who looked to be on the way out. “Os Leoes” began their season away at Moreirense.
Sporting’s tough end to last season seemed to be continuing when Heriberto Borges struck for the home side inside six minutes to take the lead.
But Sporting’s stars took charge and Bruno Fernandes followed his excellent season last year with a neat finish to equalise in the 16th minute.
The game was at 1-1 up until the 72nd minute when Jovane Cabral won Sporting a penalty. Bas Dost picked up the ball and coolly prodded his penalty into the net to give Sporting the lead.
The Dutch striker then doubled his tally in extra-time, Fernandes threaded a beautiful past in Dost’s path who took a touch and delicately chipped the goalkeeper to secure all three points for Sporting.
“Best of the rest”
Away from the “Big Three”, Braga started well with a 4-2 victory over Nacional at home after twice coming back from a goal down. “Os Arsenalistas” will aim to break the three giants and their hold at the top of the table after their highest point tally last season.
Newly promoted teams, Portimonense and Santa Clara both fell to an opening day defeat. Santa Clara clawed onto a 0-0 draw until the 97th minute when Rodrigo Pinho converted a penalty for Maritimo to break the new boy’s hearts. Portimonense were beaten 2-0 at home by Boavista in the last match of game week one.
- Setubal 2-0 Desportivo Aves
- Tondela 0-1 Belenenses
- Feirense 2-0 Rio Ave
Who will be crowned Portuguese champions this year? Let us know by commenting below, or tweeting us @AllOutFootball_ with the hashtag #AOF