RECAP: WEEKEND PORTUGUESE ACTION
Caleb Patterson-Sewell was beaten four times in a loss to Academica, while Steven Silva Rodrigues put in a full shift in a losing effort for Leixoes a division below.
Academica de Coimbra 4 - 2 Vitoria de Setubal
With Polish keeper Pawel Kiieszek struggling against injury, Caleb Patterson-Sewell made a rare league start when Setubal visited the historic city of Coimbra to take on Academica.
The former New York Red Bull received little help from his back line, though, and conceded four similar goals.
Salim Cisse opened the scoring for the hosts in the 13th minute off a Rodrigo Galo corner kick, then just two minutes later another Galo corner was nodded home, this time by veteran striker Edinho.
In the 27th minute Edinho made it 3-0 with yet another header after the Setubal defense could not handle a cross from Carlos Eduardo.
With the game spiraling out of control for the guests, only a goal line clearance by Albert Ze Meyong kept the score from being 4-0 just past the half-hour, after Patterson-Sewell was beaten by a 32nd minute free kick.
Improbably, Setubal clawed their way back into the game in the second half.
Cristiano made it 3-1 in the 67th minute when he was left alone in the center of the box.
Then Meyong tallied his 10th league goal of the season from the penalty spot after Cristiano had been taken down by Marcos Paulo, who also earned a yellow card for his efforts.
The comeback was not to be, however, as Edinho completed his hat trick in the 85th minute.
Fittingly, the 30 year-old put the game out of reach with Academica's fourth headed goal of the game off another Carlos Eduardo cross.
Setubal are now in second to last place and a fight against relegation looms for the remainder of the season.
They will next take the field against powerhouse Porto in the League Cup on Wednesday, followed by a critical matchup with bottom dwelling Moreirense on Sunday.
Sporting Covilha 2 - 0 Leixoes
Steven Silva Rodrigues and the rest of the Leixoes back line were under immediate pressure on the road against Sporting Covilha and conceded an early goal from which they could not recover.
The hosts created two clear chances in the opening minutes before Cape Verdean midfielder Nene nodded home a corner in the 10th minute.
Leixoes, on the other hand, did not create a legitimate scoring chance until near the end of the first half, and were generally out of rhythm offensively throughout the full 90.
Veteran striker Moreira compounded the guests' struggles in the 66th minute, converting a feed from Brazilian midfielder Tarcisio past Leixoes goalie Rui Sacramento.
The loss to relegation threatened Covilha puts Leixoes in 12th place in the second division.
They will next play Maritimo B on the road on Sunday.
Tony Taylor did not participate in Estoril's 3-1 loss to first-place Benfica. Likewise, Sergio Duarte watched from the bench as Nacional fell 1-0 to Porto. Both will hope to play a role when their teams square off in a League Cup match after a quick turnaround on Wednesday.