Draw spares “big ones” from direct confrontation in the quarters of the Portuguese Cup

Draw held today at Cidade do Futebol

The 'big ones' escaped direct confrontation in the quarter-finals of the Portuguese Football Cup, which will take place in the semi-finals if Benfica and Sporting eliminate Vizela and União de Leiria, while FC Porto faces Santa Clara.

The Porto team, winner of the last two editions of the competition, travels to Ponta Delgada to face one of the two 'survivors' of the II League, along with União de Leiria, which the draw held today at Cidade do Futebol put on the path to victory. Sporting, leader of the main division, also at home.

Benfica, the record holder for titles in the Portuguese Cup, with 26 trophies won, will also have to travel, but Vizela, to compete in one of the two clashes between teams from the top division, together with the clash between neighbors Vitória de Guimarães and Gil Vicente.

If the three most titled clubs (FC Porto lifted the scepter 19 times and Sporting 17) confirm their favoritism in the quarter-finals, between February 06th and 08th, the competition will offer a Lisbon derby in the 'half-finals', while FC Porto will face the winner of the Minho duel.

The 'dragons', who prevailed in three of the last four editions of the Portuguese Cup, will count on the effectiveness of Brazilian striker Evanilson, the competition's top scorer in the 2023/24 season, with six goals scored in three games, all won with ease for the people of Porto.

FC Porto beat, successively, Vilar de Perdizes (2-0), Montalegre (4-0) and Estoril Praia (4-0), the latter being the only first division team they will find until the semi-finals, in contrast to Santa Clara , who, after the 3-0 victory in the debut against Ribeirão, was always forced to work 'overtime'.

The leader of the II League, who had only reached the 'quarters' once, in 2020/21, prevailed against Vianense after extra time, 2-0, and only beat Elvas in the penalty shoot-out (4-1, after a 1-1 draw) and Nacional (4-2, after another 1-1 draw).

Benfica travels to Vizela, for a clash between extremes of the I League, in which the national champion occupies second place and the Vizela team 17th and penultimate, but which resulted in a slim 2-1 victory for the 'eagles' , in September, on the fifth round of the championship.

After the predictable successes against Lusitânia dos Açores (4-1) and Famalicão (2-0), the Lisbon club, great dominates of the premier competition of Portuguese football, had more difficulties against Sporting de Braga, the finalist defeated last season, who defeated 3-2.

Vizela, present for the fourth time at this stage, had a scare in the meeting with Estrela da Amadora, which they beat 2-1, after extra time, after beating Atlético 1-0 and beating Arouca by the same margin, in the previous round.

Sporting, leader of the I Liga after the conclusion of the first round, has clear favoritism for the trip to the stronghold of the 12th placed in the secondary division, after having overcome Olivais e Moscavide (3-1), Dumiense (8- 0) and Tondela (4-0).

Ahead will be a team from Leiria whose best result is being in the final in 2002/03, lost 1-0 against FC Porto, who claim the best attack in the competition, with 23 goals scored, thanks to the triumphs over Pedrógão (12 -0), Académico de Viseu (3-1), Malveira (5-0) and Marítimo (3-0).

Vitória de Guimarães, winner in 2013, and Gil Vicente reach the quarter-finals without having met first-tier teams: the Guimarães team beat Moncarapachense (3-1), Länk Vilaverdense (4-1) and Penafiel (1-0), while the gilistas beat Belenenses (2-1), Serpa (1-0) and Amarante (3-1).

The semi-finals of the 2023/24 Portuguese Cup will take place between the 27th and 29th of February (first leg) and between the 02nd and 04th of April (second leg) and the final of the 84th edition of the competition is scheduled for the 26th of May.