It’s all over in the Macau Elite League, after Benfica Macau had already confirmed the 5th championship in a row with yet two games to play. C.P.K. and Sporting Macau were still battling for the runners-up position in the last round of matches.
Entering the last round, C.P.K had two points more than Sporting since the match between both teams ended in a 1-1 draw the week before, so everything was possible until the final whistle. Sporting had a tough match against Benfica in the Macau derby, while C.P.K. had an easier contest against the 5th classified Ka I.
In fact, Sporting enteredthe match knowing that C.P.K. had beaten Ka I 5-1, so the runners-up battle was already over. Nonetheless, this is the Macau derby and therefore the most important match for Benfica and Sporting supporters, ever since the Lisbon derby has been transferred to this part of the world through the Portuguese community in Macau, meaning that there was still a lot of pride to fight for.
Benfica wanted to finish the season without any defeat and tried to control the match, showing that it has the best squad in Macau, but it was Sporting that could have opened the score, but they missed their awarded penalty. In the second half Benfica managed to finally break the Sporting defense and scored two goals by Nicholas Torrão and Rafael Bastardo, which was enough to claim all three points for the champions.
Benfica Macau manager Bernardo Tavares concluded after the game: “It was a well fought match. In the first half there were opportunities for both sides, including the missed penalty by our opponents, but we also had three or four opportunities to score. In the second half we had more opportunities. Due to some changes we managed to have more ball possession in the attacking third of the pitch.”
Sporting Macau coach Nuno Capela responded: “We created several chances and even had a penalty, but we failed to score. In the second half the better resources of Benfica decided the final result.”
The final table of the Macau Elite League saw Cheng Fung in 4th, Ka I in 5th and Monte Carlo in 6th. Policia and Hang Sai managed to escape from relegation and finished in 7th and 8th respectively. The relegated clubs were Alfandega and Lai Chi, who already knew before the last round that they would be playing in the 2nd Division next year.
With the end of the league there are already some transfer news. Sporting coach Nuno Capela (in the picture with Sporting Macau team manager José Reis) announced that he would leave the team and he will be replaced by their assistant coach Pedro Lopes. Despite this change Nuno Capela will remain the youth academy manager of Sporting.
Benfica have already lost two players. Hugo Silva signed for a French 4th division team and their key player Edgar Teixeira left for Portugal following an alleged conflict with the Benfica coach.
C.P.K. are also without a coach at the moment. Brazilian Gilmar Tadeu signed with the Ukranian 2nd division team Lviv. The C.P.K. player Alexandro Matos also departed the team and signed with the Portuguese 3rd division team Recreativo de Agueda, which is currently coached by former Benfica Macau coach Henrique Nunes.
Macau FA Cup
With the ending of the league, now all attention has turned to the Macau FA Cup, which started on July 5th. This year the tournament will be played in a smaller format,with Elite League teams only. The first round of matches was played on 5th of July, with Monte Carlo and Hang Sai securing a ticket for the quarter final round which started on the weekend of July 7th and 8th.
The highlight for the quarter finals will be the clash between Ka I and Sporting Macau.
You can check the Macau FA Cup draw here!