Sporting second losses in a week

Pacos de Ferreira beat Sporting 3-0 on Sunday, the Lisbon club's second loss in less than a week and dropping it two points behind league leaders Nacional and FC Porto. The defeat likely will rekindle demands for the removal of coach Jose Peseiro.

Nacional overcame the 44th-minute expulsion of Emerson with second-half goals by Alex Goulart and Georgi Chilikov to beat Penafiel 2-0, drawing even on 14 points with Porto, which drew 2-2 at Maritimo.

Ferreira, which had until 2000 spent the previous six seasons outside the Superliga, took control with goals by Ronny da Silva and Didi Silva in the last four minutes of the first half. After Sporting defender Miguel Garcia was ejected in the 84th, Manuel Junior added a goal in the final minute for Ferreira, which improved to 10th place with nine points.

The loss was the second in four days for Sporting, which was beaten 3-2 at home on Thursday by Sweden's Halmstads in the second leg of the first round of the UEFA Cup on Thursday, eliminating it from the competition. Sporting fans protested at the stadium on Friday, demanding the firing of Peseiro.

In Madeira, Maritimo led on a goal by striker Gustavo Manduca in the seventh minute, but Porto rallied on strikes by Lisandro Lopes in the 73rd and Cesar Peixoto three minutes later. Despite the ejection of Sergipano in the 81st, Marcinho da Silva equalized for Martimo in the 87th for only its third point of the season.

On Friday Beleneses lost 0-2 to Amadora. In other matches it was Rio Ave 1, Boavista 1 on Saturday. On Sunday, it was Setubal 2, Leiria 0; and Acadйmica, 2 Gil Vicente 0. On Monday Benfica hosts Guimaraes and on Tuesday Braga plays Naval, AP reports.

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