Porto clinches Portuguese title with win over Sporting

PORTO, Portugal (AP) — Porto clinched its second Portuguese league title in three seasons Wednesday by beating Sporting Lisbon 2-0, and its fans took to the streets to celebrate amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Danilo and Moussa Marega scored second-half goals to give Porto an insurmountable eight-point lead over second-place Benfica with two rounds to go. Benfica defeated Vitória Guimarães 2-0 on Tuesday to temporarily delay Porto’s celebrations. A draw also would have been enough for Porto.

“It’s an incredible feeling,” Danilo said. “Unfortunately the fans couldn’t be here, it would have made it even more special, but I’m sure they are all happy at home right now. We thank them for their support.”

Porto supporters could be heard celebrating outside the Estádio do Dragão, chanting and honking car horns. Televisions images showed hundreds of people gathering on the streets of Porto, without much social distancing being observed.

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Fireworks were set off nearby as players celebrated at midfield holding up team flags and scarves.

It was the fifth straight win for Porto, which also won the league in 2018 to end Benfica’s run of four consecutive titles. Benfica lifted the trophy last season.

It was Porto’s 29th Portuguese title, moving within eight of Benfica.

It is the 18th straight season that either Benfica or Porto win the Portuguese league. Sporting Lisbon, third in the standings this season, won the title in 2001-02.

Porto’s best scoring chance before Danilo’s goal came when Fábio Vieira’s long-range shot struck the crossbar in the 63rd. Danilo opened the scoring with a header off a corner kick in the 64th, and Marega sealed the victory from inside the area in stoppage time.

Both teams had goals disallowed in the first half.

The Portuguese league was among the first in Europe to restart amid the coronavirus pandemic, with all matches being played without fans.

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