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Benfica beats Rio Ave, maintains lead in Portuguese league


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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Benfica defeated Rio Ave 2-0 with first-half goals by Konstantinos Mitroglou and Pizzi Fernandes to keep its four-point lead over FC Porto in the Portuguese league.

Porto had cut the lead to one point with a 2-1 over Maritimo last week, but Benfica maintained its advantage going into the break thanks to the comfortable victory at home.

The games of the 15th round are being spread over two weeks, with no matches during the Christmas weekend.

Third-place Sporting Braga hosts Moreirense on Thursday, while fourth-place Sporting Lisbon plays at Belenenses.

The league resumes in the second weekend of January.

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