Benfica’s pursuit of runaway Liga Sagres leaders Porto came to a halt with a 2-1 loss at Sporting Braga on Sunday.
The Portuguese champions, who had not lost in 18 games across all competitions, slipped 11 points adrift of Porto after Braga came from a goal down to snatch victory at the Estadio AXA.
Benfica went ahead 1-0 on Javier Saviola’s second bite at Carlos Martin’s blocked attempt in the 25th minute, but the game turned when Javi Garcia was shown a straight red in the 41st minute.
The loss of Garcia was compounded by a Braga equaliser one minute later through Hugo Viana, before substitute Marcio Mossoro blasted in the winner in the 79th minute, lifting Braga to sixth on the table.
Elsewhere, Sporting Lisbon consolidated third place with a 1-0 defeat of visiting Beira-Mar, their first win in eight games.
Matias Fernandez sealed the winner from the penalty spot in the 78th minute after Beira-Mar striker Elio was sent off for a second caution.
In other results, Rio Ave made it four wins in a row with a 1-0 result at 10-man Maritimo, with Braga doing the damage in the 78th minute, while Olhanense fought out a 0-0 draw at Vitoria Setubal.