It was a truly incredible weekend in Portuguese football as EIGHT top-flight clubs were knocked out of the historic Taça de Portugal in the third round. Seven of the eight Primeira Liga teams that were knocked out, were dumped out by lower-league opposition.
The top two teams in Liga 3 (Group A), Portuguese football’s third tier, enjoyed massive scalps this weekend. Länk FC Vilaverdense F.C., who sit top of Liga 3 Group A after five games, beat Portimonense 2-0 to advance to the next round. It’s the first team the Vila Verde side have made it past the third round since 2017.
Liga 3 side Varzim also pulled off a brilliant shock win, beating Sporting CP 1-0 thanks to a second-half goal from João Faria. Understandably, nobody gave Varzim much of a chance of winning before this encounter and it’s a night that will go down in their history.
One of the most dramatic matches of the weekend played out at the Estadio Municipal de Mafra. Marítimo twice took the lead against hosts Mafra, and twice were pegged back, including a dramatic 96th minute equaliser from Murilo Freitas. The game went into extra time and after a goalless first period, Mafra secured their place in the last 32, scoring twice through Pedro Schwaizer on 111′ before Murilo Freitas grabbed his second of the game, killing off the tie in the 115th minute.
Extra time was also needed in the match between Oliveira do Hospital (Liga 3) and Rio Ave, Patrick scored his side’s third of the afternoon in the 116th minute to record a fantastic 3-2 win over top-flight opposition. Something that perhaps makes this result even more impressive is that Oliveria do Hospital came into this one in fairly poor form, with just one win in Liga 3 to their name so far this season. It seems they may have saved their best form for this particular encounter!
It wasn’t just Liga 3 clubs that enjoyed shocks, two teams in Portugal’s fourth division (Campeonato de Portugal) pulled off incredible giant killings. Valadares Gaia FC overcame GD Chaves in dramatic fashion. Valadares thought they had the game won, scoring what looked to be a 92nd-minute winner, that was until Chaves went up the other end and scored an equaliser through Ricardo Guimaraes. Valadares however, didn’t let the dejection of conceding late deter them from going about their giant slaying business, scoring in the second half of extra time to win the match 3-2.
AD Machico also pulled off a shock by beating a team three divisions above. Machico, based in the province of the same name in Southeast Madeira, beat high-flying Boavista, who came into this match having won five of their nine Primeira Liga games so far this season. The Madeira outfit won 1-0 thanks to a sole Roberto Gouveia goal.
Elsewhere, Vitória de Setubal who sit in seventh place in Liga 3 Group B, beat Paços de Ferreira 2-0 in a match that will have rolled back the years for the Vitória fans who will have fond memories of seeing their club compete in the Primeira Liga before their financial woes and subsequent relegations.
Here is the full list of the 32 teams through to the next round of the Taça de Portugal.
Primeira Liga: Estoril, Arouca, Gil Vicente, Famalicão, Vitória de Guimarães, Vizela, Benfica, Casa Pia , SC Braga and FC Porto
Segunda Liga: B SAD, Moreirense, Nacional, Mafra, Académico Viseu, Farense, Tondela and Leixões
Liga 3: Sanjoanense, Vitória de Setúbal, Lank Vilaverdense, São João de Ver, Varzim and Oliveira do Hospital
Campeonato de Portugal: Machico, Valadares Gaia, Beira-Mar, Rabo de Peixe, Pevidém, Pêro Pinheiro, Camacha and Dumiense