Champions Benfica get off to bad start

LISBON - Portuguese Premier League champions Benfica's title defence started in the worst possible fashion when Academica scored a last-minute goal to beat them 2-1 at the Luz Stadium on Sunday.

Striker Miguel Fidalgo put Academica ahead by heading in on 25 minutes after beating defender Sidnei to a Diego Valente free-kick.

Benfica leveled in the 62nd minute with a tap in by Argentine forward Franco Jara from a cross by left-back Fabio Coentrao.

The champions pushed forward for a second goal, but Academica bagged the winner in the last minute of injury-time when substitute Laionel completed a fast counter attack with a delightful long distance effort.

Last season's surprise runners-up Braga beat Portimonense 3-1 at home thanks to goals by striker Matheus, winger Paulo Cesar and midfielder Salino on Friday.

A late penalty converted by Brazilian forward Hulk earned Porto a 1-0 win over Naval on Saturday, while Sporting suffered a 1-0 defeat at Pacos Ferreira.

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