Marlos and Kovalenko scored the goals of the two-time Ukrainian champion.
Shakthar Donetsk, coached by Portugal’s Paul Fonseca, beat Oleksandriya 2-0 today and gained ground for one of their most direct pursuers.
The team, which won with goals from Marlos (26 minutes) and Kovalenko (88), now have five points more than today’s opponents, who could still be reached in second for Dynamo Kiev.
The Kiev side have two games in arrears, one of which will be played on Sunday, during their visit to FK Zorya Luhansk.
Vorskla Poltava, who are Sporting’s opponents in Group E of the Europa League, are fourth-placed after a 1-0 home defeat by Karpaty (9th) in a home- ex-‘ão ‘Cristian Ponde.