In manager Jesualdo Ferreira’s first game in charge of Sporting Lisbon, the club earned a narrow 1-0 win against Paços de Ferreira in the Taça da Liga competition. Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored in the 89th minute to give his team the victory on Wednesday.

“This club needs psychological support and confidence, to feel that they could come out in front,” Ferreira told journalists after the game. “The players need to believe in themselves,” he added.

Sporting had already been eliminated from the tournament before the match and will not advance to the semi-finals. Rio-Ave forward Bebé scored in his first full match for the Vila do Conde club. The Rio-Ave win, combined with Paços de Ferreira’s loss means Rio-Ave advances to the semi-finals from Group C.

In group D, Benfica advances to the semi-finals after a 3-2 victory against Académica. Lima scored twice for Benfica, Alan Kardec scored the other. Makelele and Carlos Saleiro scored for Académica.

João Moutinho’s penalty in the 44th minute gave Porto the victory against Vitória Setúbal. Porto advances from group A. Braga advanced from Group B with a 3-0 win against Beira-Mar. Carlão, Ruben Amorim and Hugo Viana scored in that match.

The semi-finals of the 2012-12 Taça da Liga have been set. Porto will play Rio-Ave at the Estádio do Dragão in one semi-final, while Braga will host Benfica. Both game will be played on February 27th.

Also in Portugal on Wednesday, the top two teams in the Liga de Honra, Belenenses and Sporting (B Squad) played a make-up game at the Estádio do Restelo in Belém. Belenenses won 2-1 and now lead the Portuguese second division by 12 points after 21 matches.


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