Benfica hold C.P.K. to controversial draw

Photo: Macau Bolinha Bolão

As the Macau Elite League enters in its final five rounds, Cheng Fung managed to close the gap to C.P.K. to just four points following a draw between the league leaders and Benfica Macau. However, C.P.K. still have a comfortable margin to see out the end of the season.

With the end of the season fast approaching, it is now clear that the title fight will be a two horse race, with C.P.K. trying to maintain their four points lead over Cheng Fung. Nonetheless, the only thing that can be guaranteed right now is that there will be a new Macau champion since both clubs have never won the league before.​

For Round 13, the attention was mainly drawn to the match between C.P.K. and Benfica Macau. Benfica are already out of the title race, but the five times Macau champions still want to claim the runners-up position, so the team could not afford to lose more ground in this match. C.P.K. instead entered the match on top of the league, six points ahead of their first followers, so they did not face much pressure after all.

However, it was Benfica who took the lead almost with the first kick of the match, when Macau international Nicholas Torrão scored the opener in the 2nd minute. Benfica maintained the high pressure in the rest of the first half, with C.P.K. trying to explore the counter-attack. C.P.K. only managed to equalize three minutes after the break, with a goal scored by former Benfica winger Pang Chi-hang, who rapidly apologized for the goal to his former teammates, showing once again that this player deserves an opportunity in a higher quality league. The result remained like this until the final whistle, but the match did not finish without a big drama. Benfica captain Cuco was allegedly attacked by C.P.K. player Diego Patriota, with Cuco suffering a broken nose, but the referee did not signal any foul nor did he stop the match.

Following this incident, Benfica director Duarte Alves voiced his grievances after the game: “Intentional aggression against a player, where the images don’t lie. The Referee doesn’t stop the match, let alone penalize the aggressor. Our player needs to go to hospital, and there is no ambulance at the stadium… The referees make mistakes, but they are immune to everything and nothing changes. If anyone says something or raises his voice, they get expelled from the field. It is not the first time, and other clubs also complain about it. Is this what the sport is really about? Is it really what Macau sport and the top representatives want? It makes no difference to them. Is it really worth to continue supporting the game? I don’t think so…”.

With this result, Cheng Fung closed the gap to C.P.K. to four points after a 4-2 win against Sporting Macau. Benfica are now in third, already nine points behind C.P.K.​

Round 14 of the Macau Elite League will be played next week. Meanwhile, two rescheduled games of Round 10 already take place this week: Tim Iec faces Macau U23 and Monte Carlo lock horns with Policia. A victory for Monte Carlo would see them jumping to third position, leapfrogging Benfica and Ka I.

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