Football - European Football

Portugal outsiders Pacos make certain of top three spot

Outsiders Pacos de Ferreira seized a surprise third position in the Portuguese Premier League on Saturday, a 1-1 draw at Academica securing a slot in next season's Champions League qualifying round.

Portugal outsiders Pacos make certain of top three spot - Football - European FootballImago

The result means Pacos, who are on 54 points and have one match to play, are certain to finish above fourth-placed Braga who are five points behind after losing 3-1 at home to Nacional Madeira.

It is a major feat for Pacos who are based in a tiny town north of Porto.

They took the lead through midfielder Manuel Jose following a flowing counter attack in the second half before Academica levelled from the penalty spot with 20 minutes to go.

Pacos, who are nicknamed 'The Beavers', have a small stadium with a capacity of just over 5,000.

Club president Carlos Barbosa said he was living the dream.

"This is a breath of fresh air for a team that goes through the difficulties that we do," he told Portuguese television.

"It will be a great cash inflow to improve our stadium which we will try and have ready in time for the Champions League," added Barbosa of a club that has an annual budget of 2.5 million euros.

"We dream of hosting Real Madrid or Barcelona."

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