Porto beats Benfica to clinch Portuguese title

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Porto beats Benfica to clinch Portuguese title

LISBON - FC Porto clinched its 25th Portuguese league title with a 2-1 win at Benfica on Sunday, keeping alive its bid to become only the second team in Portugal to finish a season unbeaten.

Porto is 16 points clear of second-place Benfica with five rounds to play. The only Portuguese team to go a whole season without a loss was Benfica in 1972-73.

Freddy Guarin put Porto ahead with a goal in the ninth minute at the Stadium of Light.

Benfica’s Javier Saviola leveled from the penalty spot eight minutes later after defender Nicolas Otamendi had fouled Franco Jara, but Hulk blasted Porto’s winner in the 26th minute.

“Benfica was lucky it was not a rout,’’ Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas said. “It is a feeling of accomplishment and a pleasure to form part of this group. The credit is all theirs.’’

Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo was shown a red card three minutes from the end for fouling Fernando Belluschi. Nicolas Gaitan almost equalized for the hosts in the last minute but his shot hit the post.

Elsewhere Sporting Lisbon drew 1-1 at Guimaraes, Rio Ave beat Setubal 2-0, and Naval moved out of last place with a 3-1 win at Olhanense.

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