A double from Kleber helped Maritimo to a 3-1 triumph over Uniao de Leiria on Friday, moving the winners into seventh on the Liga Sagres table.
Both sides can still harbour hopes of snaring a Europa League qualification spot at season’s end after solid campaigns.
But it is Maritimo who can afford to dream a little bigger, with the convincing result moving them above Leiria and within just two points of fifth-placed Vitoria Guimaraes in the last Europa League spot, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s league programme.
Leiria could not have got off to a worse start when midfielder Paulo Vinicius was sent off for his second bookable offence in the 14th minute.
Maritimo made their advantage count, taking a 38th-minute lead when 20-year-old Brazilian striker Kleber got on the end of a chip over the Leiria defence to volley home on his left foot.
Leiria received a way back into the game on 51 minutes after Maritimo defender Alonso – a 21st-minute injection into the game – picked his second yellow card in as many minutes to follow Paulo Vinicius down the tunnel.
But instead it was his side who doubled their advantage, with Kleber cutting back from wide on the left to find Tunisia midfielder Selim Benachour.
His crisp drive squarely hit the left upright, but Angola striker Djalma was on hand to tap in and make it 2-0.
Leiria briefly raised hopes of a comeback when on-loan Everton forward Joao Silva nodded past Maritimo goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck in the 63rd minute, but Kleber made the points safe three minutes later with his close-range header.
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