Portugal: Sporting still in Champions League hunt

April 7, 2008

LISBON, April 6 (Reuters) - Midfielder Yannick Djalo struck twice to give Sporting a 2-0 win over Braga on Sunday that kept them firmly in the hunt for a Champions League place.

Second-placed Benfica, who drew 0-0 at Boavista, and Vitoria Guimaraes, held 2-2 at Pacos Ferreira on Friday, are level on 45 points with Sporting just two points behind in fourth.

Porto won the league title for a third successive time on Saturday after crushing Estrela Amadora 6-0 to reach 63 points and have an unassailable 18-point lead over their main rivals.

Djalo, who has just returned after four months out injured, secured the points for Sporting with goals in the 36th and 38th minutes having been set up by Brazilian striker Lieldson.

The only downside for Sporting was that Brazilian defender Anderson Polga could miss next Thursday UEFA Cup quarter-final, second leg at home to Rangers, coach Paulo Bento told reporters.

Sporting earned a 0-0 draw from the first leg in Glasgow.

Boavista's Liechtenstein goalkeeper Peter Jehle kept visitors Benfica at bay with a series of impressive saves.

However, the home side should have taken the lead in the 24th minute when Brazilian Edi Carlos brought down striker Mateus and the referee awarded a penalty only for Benfica goalkeeper Quim to save Bruno Ribeiro's spot kick.

Boavista finished with 10 men after defender Rissut was sent off in the 79th minute for a foul on playmaker Rui Costa.