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Sporting climbs back to within three

Lisbon, Portugal (SportsNetwork.com) - Sporting Lisbon claimed a 3-2 win over Maritimo on Saturday to climb to within three points of first-place Porto.

After Porto dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Belenenses on Saturday, Sporting took advantage by getting off to promising start as Diego Capel opened the scoring in the 28th minute.

Maritimo overturned the deficit and grabbed the lead by halftime thanks to goals from Ruben Rafael Sousa Ferreira and Heldon, but Islam Slimani managed to equalize in the 67th minute.

Sporting was handed a major benefit in the 75th minute when Maritimo was reduced to 10 men as Joao Diogo was sent off for denying a clear-cut scoring opportunity in the penalty area, and Adrien Silva converted the ensuing attempt from the spot to see Sporting collect all three points.

Saturday's results saw FC Porto improve to 23 points while Sporting climbs to 20. Maritimo stays second from bottom on seven points, two points back of Belenenses.

On Sunday, Vitoria Setubal netted a pair of second-half goals in a 2-0 defeat of Estoril, Cesar Peixoto scored in the 30th minute to give Gil Vicente a 1-0 victory over Guimaraes, Arouca overcame a second-half red card to claim a point from a 0-0 draw with Pacos Ferreira and Nacional was held to a 0-0 at home by Olhanense.

And on Friday, Benfica cruised to a 3-0 win behind goals from Oscar Cardozo, Lazar Markovic and an own goal from Ferreira Marcelo.