Tickets for the first clássico of the season, Benfica v Sporting at the Estádio da Luz on 10 September, go on sale on Wednesday. The price of tickets for non-associate members varies between 40 and 113 euros, rising to 45 and 118 on the day of the game.
Last season, Rio Ave were champions of the draw - they drew 17 times under Carlos Brito. This season, the coach has moved to Boavista, and his first two official games at the club have been ... draws.
This time it was at Estrela da Amadora, 1-1. The score leaves both clubs in the lower half of the table, but it's early days. (see match report)
Sporting made it two out of two Sunday with a deserved 2-1 win at Marítimo. It was like a home game for the Lions, such was the constant pressure on the Madeiran goal, but it took two strikes
midway through the second half from Liedson, his first goals of the season, to make Sporting's pressure count, and they were still left wondering by the end with a Rincón
goal in added time. Out of form Ricardo was replaced by his understudy Nélson in the Sporting goal, and he did a solid job, having no chance with Marítimo's consolation.
The teams lined up:
Marítimo: Marcos, Ferreira, Van der Gaag (Marcinho, 76 m), Nuno Morais, Briguel, Fahel, Wénio, Komac, Walter Júnior (Filipe Oliveira, 68 m), Manduca, Youssouf (Rincon, 81 m).
Sporting: Nélson, Rogério, Beto, Polga, Edson, João Moutinho, Rochemback (Sá Pinto, 61 m), Luís Loureiro (Tonel, 78 m), Douala, Deivid (Nani, 75 m), Liedson.
But a surprise early leader is Rio Ave, who beat a luckless Vitória de Guimarães 3-1 at home. Gaúcho and Niquinha put Rio ave two-up in the first 25 minutes, Saganowski
pulling one back for Vítoria on 42 minutes. Marquinhos settled it on the hour, however. Vitória are without points and bottom of the Liga.
Sporting Braga are also on maximum points after a 1-0 win at home to Penafiel, central defender Nem tapping in on 57 minutes.
Fredy gave Paços de Ferreira the points with a goal on 37 minutes at Vitória de Setúbal. The Vitória administration were the subject of protests by fans at the end of the game.
Académica came away with a point from a ding-dong battle against Nacional at the Choupana stadium in Madeira. André Pinto put the home side two-up within 38 minutes, but Marcel
pulled one back for Académica before the break from the spot. The same player got a second on 66 minutes to leave it 2-2.
Benfica dropped three points at home to modest Gil Vicente Saturday with a pale display that had a half-filled Luz whistling by the end. The Águias were quite lively in the first half, perhaps because of (or despite...) revolutionary tactics from Koeman (three centre-backs, Beto, who has been playing well in the centre of midfield, out on the right, and new signing, Nélson, a right back, out on the left ...). But they came up consistently against the superb
Jorge Baptista in the Gil goal, who save everything Benfica shot at him, including a penalty from Simão
in the opening minutes of the second half, a penalty given for a non-existent foul by Gregory on Nuno Gomes.
After the penalty, Benfica ebbed visibly and Gil began to grow in confidence, sensing that this might be their night. And it was: on 66 minutes, Nandinho, who spent some time at the Luz ten years ago, sent over a
corner from the right that central defender Marcos António met with his head and crashed in, and five minutes from time, Edson galloped down the right on the counter attack and crossed for Anderson
to beat Carlos Carneiro to the ball, only to head it into his own net.
Gil have maximum points from their two games. Benfica, scandalously, have dropped five
and have scored zero goals. It is the club's worst start to the season for a decade. Koeman will need to take somehting from Benfica's next game ... at Sporting (!) ... to avoid a possible chicotada psicológica
('psychological whipping' = sacking).
The teams lined up:
Benfica: Moreira, Anderson, Luisão, Ricardo Rocha (Dos Santos, 39 m), Beto (Geovanni, 57 m), Petit, Manuel Fernandes, Nélson, Nuno Assis (Mantorras, 67 m), Nuno Gomes, Simão.
Gil Vicente: Jorge Baptista, Edson, Marcos António, Gregory, João Pedro, Elias, Braima, Williams (Rovérsio, 87 m), Carlitos (Rodolfo Lima, 60 m), Carlos Carneiro, Nandinho (Luís Coentrão, 69 m).
Earlier, Belenenses recovered from their first day setback at Sporting to beat União de Leiria 3-1 at home. Meyong on seven minutes and 42, and José Pedro
on 34, gave the Blues the three points. Lourenço, on loan from Sporting but at Belenenses last season, had equalised on 17 minutes for União. In the second half, it was virtually one-way traffic on the
Belenenses goal, but União found another 'keeper inspired on the night: Marco Aurélio. União have yet to win a point.
FC Porto dominated Naval
in Figueira da Foz Friday and eventually came away with the three points, but not without breaking sweat and seeing the newcomers to the top flight take the game to the wire. Naval had come from an excellent 2-0 win at Vitória de Guimarães in the first jornada and kept Porto out for 99.9% of the first half until in added time,
César Peixoto rose to head in from close range a corner from Jorginho, with 'keeper Taborda, who had kept Porto out on more than one occasion, all at sea. The same player got a carbon copy
of that goal seven minutes into the second half, but just when Porto might have been thinking that it was a foregone conclusion from there on in, Bruno Fogaça
slipped through the offside trap and slotted in past Vítor Baía on 56 minutes to make it 1-2. Hugo Almeida, on as sub, crashed home a loose ball in front of goal on 82 minutes, but César Peixoto
blotted his copy book, putting through his own goal in the dying minutes to keep Porto on their toes until the end.
The teams lined up:
Naval: Taborda, Carlitos, João Paulo, Nélson Veiga, Bessa, Gilmar, Glauber (Luís Miguel, 54 m), Saulo (Léo Guerra, 62 m), Fajardo, Márcio Luís (Solimar, 74 m), Bruno Fogaça.
FC Porto: Vítor Baía, Sonkaya, Ricardo Costa, Pedro Emanuel, César Peixoto, Ibson, Lucho González, Diego (Alan, 84 m), Jorginho, Hélder Postiga (Hugo Almeida, 68 m), Lisandro López (Quaresma, 77 m).
Closing the first jornada, a Cesinha header on eight minutes from a free-kick by Hugo Leal was enough to give Sporting Braga all three points at União de Leiria's almost empty Estádio Municipal de Leiria
(just 2,359 in the stands of one of Euro 2004's custom-built stadiums, capacity 25,000). Braga looked impressive as they seek to equal or improve on last season's fourth place.
The teams lined up:
União de Leiria: Costinha, Éder (Paulo César, 82 m), João Paulo, Renato, Alhandra, Kata, Paulo Gomes, Harison (Lourenço, 25 m), Maciel, Ferreira, Fábio Felício (Touré, 60 m).
Sporting Braga: Paulo Santos, Luís Filipe, Nunes, Nem, Jorge Luiz, João Alves (Filipe, 86 m), Andrés Madrid, Hugo Leal, Jaime (Davide, 58 m), João Tomás, Cesinha (Delibasic, 88 m).
The contract that gives Austrian on-line gambling site betandwin.com the right to sponsor this year's Liga is with the State Attorney's Office to check its legality under Portuguese law. The Santa Casa da Misericórdia and the Portuguese Casinos Association have protested about the arrival of a competitor on the scene, claiming that it is they that have the exclusive right to advertise gambling services in Portugal.
It took FC Porto 56 minutes to break the resistence of a plucky Estrela da Amadora, newly promoted, at the Estádio do Dragão, but Ricardo Costa's header from a César Peixoto corner, after
Bruno Vale had palmed Lisandro's initial header onto the bar, was enough to beat an Estrela who were weak in the last third of the pitch.
FC Porto: Vítor Baía, Sonkaya, Ricardo Costa, Pedro Emanuel, César Peixoto; Raul Meireles (Ibson, 90 m), Diego, Lucho Gonzalez; Jorginho, Hélder Postiga (Alan, 75 m), Lisandro Lopez (Hugo Almeida, 78 m).
Estrela da Amadora: Bruno Vale, Tony, Santamaria, Maurício, Eusébio, Emerson, Coutinho; Igor Sousa (Semedo, 60 m), Rui Duarte (Igor, 60 m), Manu, Pedro Simões (Anselmo, 86 m).
Another of the promoted teams, Naval, in the top division for the first time in their history, got off to a better start with a shock 2-0 win at Vitória de Guimarães, fifth last season. A long
shot from Bruno Fogaço on the hour broke the deadlock, and Lito
finished Vitória off a quarter of an hour from the end. Naval had three players, Fernando, Lito and China, sent off in the last quarter of an hour for second yellows, Lito´s for taking his shirt off to celebrate his goal.
The last promoted team, Paços de Ferreria lost at home to Nacional of Madeira, for whom Adão Pinto got the only goal on 53 minutes.
The other Madeiran team in the division, Marítimo, went down 0-1 at Gil Vicente, Marcos António scoring on 51 minutes.
Rio Ave travelled to Penafiel and came away with all three points for a 2-0 win, Cleiton and Milhazes, from the spot, getting the goals in the last 25 minutes.
Benfica began their defence of the title with a 0-0 draw at a useful-looking Académica. Geovanni hit the bar with a header, and Karyaka was in a one-on-one situation but let Pedro Roma parry, but
apart from that, the result was perhaps a fair reflection of what happened on the field. Benfica received seven yellow cards, two of which for right-back João Perreira, who walked in the dying minutes.
The teams lined up:
Pedro Roma, Nuno Luís, José Castro, Hugo Alcântara, Ezequias, Dionattan, Roberto Brum, Filipe Teixeira (Gelson, 66 m), Paulo Adriano (Nuno Piloto, 78 m), Fernando (Joeano, 80 m), Marcel.
Moreira, João Pereira, Luisão, Anderson, Ricardo Rocha, Petit, Beto (Manuel Fernandes, 55 m), Karyaka (Nuno Assis, 55 m), Geovanni (Mantorras, 81 m), Nuno Gomes, Simão.
Earlier in the evening, Boavista demonstrated a different attitude under new coach Carlos Brito; no longer with the 'if it moves kick it' philosophy of Jaime Pacheco (now at Vitória de Guimarães), but
at the same time with less positive aggression. The 0-0 draw with last season's cup-winners Vitória de Setúbal
was proof of this, the game played out in a relatively genteel fashion in the middle of the field with very few chances at either end, the 'keepers always up to the challenge.
Boavista: William, Manuel José, Cissé, Hélder Rosário, Carlos Fernandes, Tiago, Essame, Zé Manuel (Guga, 64), João Pinto, Diogo Valente (Fary, 75), William Souza (Cafu, 83).
Vitória de Setúbal: Moretto, Janício, Auri, Veríssimo (José Fonte, 38), Nandinho, Dembelé, Ricardo Chaves, Sougou, Bruno Ribeiro, Tchamogo (Lacombe, 85), Fábio (Binho, 88).
Sporting got their season off to the best of starts Friday with a 2-1 win at home to Belenenses. Brazilian right back Rogério
got things rolling with a swerving drive from 25 metres that Marco Aurélio got his fingers to but could not prevent from flying into the top left-hand corner. On the hour, Belenenses were back in it when Pinheiro
drove goalwards from 30 metres, a speculative shot that Ricardo misjudged completely and the ball went sailing over him and in. Sporting restored the justice of the scoreline five minutes later when Douala skipped down the right, crossed low and hard, Marco Aurélio punched it out but only against the onrushing
Deivid and in. Belenenses had several chances to net, but their finishing was poor on the night, and the result was perhaps fair given Sporting's control of the game.
The teams lined up:
Sporting: Ricardo, Rogério (Miguel Garcia, 79 m), Beto, Tonel, Tello, Rochemback (Luís Loureiro, 74 m), Sá Pinto, João Moutinho, Douala, Liedson, Deivid (Varela, 79 m).
Belenenses: Marco Aurélio, Amaral, Pelé, Rolando, Vasco Faísca (Fábio Januário, 46 m), Sandro, José Pedro, Pinheiro, Djurdjevic, Ahamada (Romeu, 68 m), Meyong (Paulo Sérgio, 69 m).
The second jornada will kick Friday 26/08 off with Naval, in their first season in the top division, at home to FC Porto. (see fixtures)
The new season kicks off in earnest Friday with a new name for the top division: Liga betandwin.com. Santa Casa da Misericórida, the institution responsible for all the public lotteries in
Portugal, has protested the decision to grant the sponsorship deal to the Austrian- based on-line gambling site, saying that by law, it is the only institution in Portugal that is allowed to advertise gambling
Friday's Sporting v Belenenses is the opening game of the season. Sporting will be without Brazilian centre back Anderson Polga, suspended for "indiscipline" after getting into an argument with coach
José Peseiro after training Thursday. Belenenses will be without Silas, suspended.
Referees will continue to be be nominated by the Liga for games in the upcoming season, it was decided Friday. There was pressure from some quarters to return to a pure draw, but for the time being, nominations prevail.
The draw was made Thursday for this season's SuperLiga fixtures. Champions
Benfica have to face their two main rivals, Sporting and FC Porto, both away, within the first seven games. If it goes to the line, FC Porto will have to travel across town to Boavista.
The draw for SuperLiga and Liga de Honra fixtures will take place on 14 July in Figueira da Foz.
The Superliga clubs have begun training in preparation for the new season. It was Benfica's first day Monday. They were without Brazilian central defender Luisão, given extended holiday
due to his being involved in the Confederations Cup, and full back Miguel, who is in dispute with the club over his possible transfer out. New coach, Dutchman Ronald Koeman has promised that his Benfica will
be an attacking side.
Of the other of the Três Grandes, FC Porto also spent their first day at work Monday under new coach Co Adriaanse, also Dutch. Sporting, with José Peseiro still at the helm, had
already begun their programme.