Mon, May 10, 2010
Sports > Soccer

Benfica wins Portuguese soccer championship

2010-05-10 06:42:06 GMT2010-05-10 14:42:06 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Benfica's players celebrate winning the Portuguese Premier League title after beating Rio Ave at Luz stadium in Lisbon May 9, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

Benfica's players celebrate winning the Portuguese Premier League title after beating Rio Ave at Luz stadium in Lisbon May 9, 2010. (Reuters Photo)

LISBON, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese powerhouses Benfica secured its 32nd league title after beating Rio Ave 2-1 at home on the final day of the season on Sunday.

The Lisbon club finished five points clear of second-place Sporting Braga, who was held 1-1 by Nacional, to clinch its first Portuguese title since 2005.

It also means that third-place FC Porto, champion for the last four seasons, will miss out on next season's Champions League for the first time since it won the UEFA Cup in 2003.

Benfica had already won the Portuguese League Cup by beating Porto 3-0 in the final in March but it was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the Europa League by Liverpool.

The team has eight players who are expected to be in the South Africa World Cup: one from Paraguay, three from Argentina, two Brazilians and two Portuguese.

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