The Macau Elite League has reached the end of the first half. Benfica Macau are again in the lead with a stunning victory over Sporting Macau, in what is called the Macau Classico.
Benfica and Sporting have more than 100 years of rivalry between them, making the match between both teams one of the biggest events in Portugal. In recent years this derby was also transported to Macau, which – as a former Portugues colony – still has a strong Portuguese community.
Last weekend Benfica Macau and Sporting Macau faced each other in the most anticipated match of the Macau Elite League. Both teams have been among the best in Macau, also attracting more people to the stadium on match day. This year things changed a bit for the Greens. Sporting only had small investment for this season due to the lack of sponsorship, which has been pushing the team towards the relegation fight.
The match itself was the best proof for the current gap in quality. Benfica trashed Sporting by nine goals, already leading by 5-0 at half time, with goals by Edgar Teixeira, Chan Man and a hat-trick by Vinicio de Morais Alves. The second half was more of the same and Benfica scored four more goals, with two coming from Alison Brito.
Both teams had some of their key players missing. Benfica strikers Carlos Leonel and Nicholas Torrão were injured, and Sporting were without Iuri Capelo and Duarte Pinheiro Torres.
Click here for match highlights.
After the game, Benfica head coach Henrique Nunes told the press: “Benfica is playing good quality football. The main difference is that we enter for every match with the same spirit an aggressiveness.” Sporting Macau manager Nuno Capela also reflected on the game: “I told my players that we are in the first division, so any small mistake will be punished, and that happened today.”
Monte Carlo also scored 9 goals this weekend in a 9-2 win over Lai Chi. The team coached by Brazilian Claudio Roberto will play the second half of the season with one foreigner less in the squad, since Sadan left Macau.
At the end of the first half of the season, Benfica are in the lead with 25 points, Monte Carlo are in second with 24 points, and C.P.K., who also won 3-1 against Cheng Fung, are in third with 21 points.
At the bottom there are still four teams in danger for relegation: Policia are in 7th with 7 points, Sporting in 8th with 6 points, Macau U23 in 9th with 4 points and Lai Chi are last with only a single point.
Photo source: Benfica Macau Facebook