Benfica extend lead after 5-goal Academica thriller; Victories for title candidates Twente & Ajax; Nalchik go top in Russia

Academica Coimbra 2 – Benfica 3 (Liga Sagres, April 18, 2010) Benfica wasted no time taking charge of the match with Weldon scoring after just three minutes. Diogo Gomes levelled for Academica just before the half-hour mark, but Weldon restored the lead four minutes before half-time. Ruben Amorim then made it 3-1 ten minutes from time, making William Tiero’s 88th minute strike merely consolation.

Porto 3 – Vitoria Guimaraes 0 (Liga Sagres, April 18, 2010) Third-placed FC Porto breezed to a 3-0 win over Guimaraes with goals from Hulk, Fredy Guarin and Radamel Falcoa, the latter a penalty.

Nacional 2 – Uniao Leiria 0 (Liga Sagres, April 18, 2010) Pedro Oldoni and Diego scored in either half as Nacional recorded a 2-0 win over Uniao Leiria.

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Ajax 4 – Heracles 0 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) Second-placed Ajax kept up the pressure on leaders Twente early on at home to Heracles as Siem de Jong powered home an unstoppable header from a dangerous cross into the box. Ajax doubled their lead in the 37th minute as Siem de Jong notched his second header of the match. Just before the hour Marko Pantelic got in on the act with a third, and Pantelic soon chalked up his brace when he converted a corner from close range.

Twente 2 – Feyenoord 0 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) Champions-elect Twente took the lead against Feyenoord five minutes from the break when Bryan Ruiz slipped a pass through to Blaise N’Kufo and the striker thumped the ball home. Twente secured a crucial second in the 68th minute through Miroslav Stoch, the Chelsea loanee making a mockery of the Feyenoord offside trap and producing a cool finish to boot.

Vitesse 2 – Roda 5 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) Poor defending from Vitesse after just four minutes allowed Roda to steal the ball in the final third and Willem Janssen was able to apply the finishing touch. Janssen even made it 2-0 in the 14th minute, before Morten Skoubo piled even more misery on Vitesse on the half hour. Then came the revival as Onur Kaya pegged one back for the hosts when he found the net with a good free-kick, and Alexander Buttner even made it 3-2 minutes after the interval, but Roda then took over the initiative again. Mads Junker scored his side’s fourth goal with a header from close range in the 69th minute and again Junker made it five for the Limburgers well into stoppage time.

VVV Venlo 2 – NEC 0 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) From a 9th minute Venlo corner, VVV’s Ruud Boymans was able to lash the hosts in front against NEC. Boymans found the net with a strong header after a Ruben Schaken cross to help his team to the full three points.

ADO Den Haag 4 – RKC Waalwijk 0 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) A powerful Timothy Derijck header from a corner put ADO Den Haag in front against already-relegated RKC. Kees Luijckx made it two from the penalty spot and Anders Oper scored the third only five minutes after the interval to decide the match. Danny Buijs added his name to the scoresheet at the death.

Willem II 0 – AZ Alkmaar 3 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) Hector Moreno was another headed goalscorer from a corner on Sunday as the AZ Alkmaar forward opened after 12 minutes at Willem II. Brett Holman scored his side’s second goal of the day in the 71st minute with a left footed shot at the far post. AZ kept on attacking in the remainder of the game and Moussa Dembele set up Mounir El Hamdaoui to make it three for the Alkmaar side.

PSV 3 – Groningen 1 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) Groningen scored after only three minutes, Koen van der Laak found Tim Matavz inside the area and the young striker slotted home with ease. PSV’s young midfielder soon Zakaria Labyad restored parity in the 25th minute, and PSV took the lead minutes after the break when Balazs Dzsudzsak found the net with a superb free-kick. Labyad scored his side’s third goal of the day after 84 minutes of play with a calm finish.

Sparta 0 – FC Utrecht 3 (Eredivisie, April 18, 2010) Sparta will have to face the relegation play-offs after losing 3-0 at home to Utrecht. Jacob Lensky opened the scoring on 20 minutes for the visitors before Rydell Poepon missed a penalty for Sparta right on the stroke of halftime. Ricky van Wolfswinkel doubled the advantage on 65 minutes and Erixon Danso added a third ten minutes later.

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Spartak Nalchik 1 – Samara 0 (Russian Premier League, April 18, 2010) Vladimir Kisenkov grabbed the only goal of the game in the 27th minute to see Nalchik restore their two-point lead over Rubin Kazan. Krylya have now lost five of their opening six games.

Terek Grozny 1 – Dynamo Moscow 1 (Russian Premier League, April 18, 2010) Dmitri Kombarov put Dynamo in front on the hour mark when he tapped home from close range, but, after Kovalcik had left the visitors with just 10-men, a last minute Shamil Lakhyalov penalty earned Terek a point.

Saturn 0 – Spartak Moscow 0 (Russian Premier League, April 18, 2010) Spartak Moscow were held to a 0-0 draw at city rivals Saturn Moscow.