Soccer-Sporting step closer to Champions League spot

LISBON Sun May 4, 2008 11:05pm BST

LISBON May 4 (Reuters) - Sporting Lisbon consolidated their hopes of securing a place in next season's Champions League after a goal by Yannick Djalo earned them a 1-0 win at Pacos Ferreira in the Portuguese Premier League on Sunday.

Porto, who wrapped up their third successive title a month ago, slumped to their first home defeat of the season when they were thrashed 3-0 by Nacional Madeira on Saturday.

The champions have 72 points, while Sporting are 20 points adrift with just one game remaining.

Vitoria Guimaraes lost ground in their bid to finish second following a 1-1 draw at Belenenses. They are third with 50 points while fourth-placed Benfica, who are on 49 points, also failed to take advantage when they were held to a goalless draw at Estrela Amadora.

In the last round of matches next weekend, Sporting will host Boavista while Guimaraes will be at home to Estrela Amadora. Benfica will also enjoy home advantage against Vitoria Setubal.

(Reporting by Carlos Pontes; editing by Pritha Sarkar)