Ricardo Sá Pinto’s U-19 team managed a 0-0 draw away to Wolfsburg to assure them of qualification to the later rounds of the NextGen Series. It would now take only a huge goal swing by Liverpool and for Sporting to lose their last 2 games for the youngsters not to finish top of their group.
Sporting were without Tiago Ilori due to the first team’s defensive injuries meaning Ilori had to be kept in Lisbon as a back up.
This was a significantly better performance from Stephan Schmidt’s Wolfsburg than back in September when, although the score was only 2-1, the side was soundly beaten.
In the first half although there were no goals there certainly was action. Wolfsburg’s Robin Knoche had the ball in the net that was disallowed for offside. Later Maximilian Arnold, who scored Wolfsburg’s goal when the two sides met in September, failed to convert a 1 on 1 situation against Sporting goalkeeper Rafael Veloso. Sporting too had the ball in the net and ruled out for offside.
The second half was more even with Sporting coming into the game more but still both sides failed to find the final pace to gain the goal. Wolfsburg were then reduced to ten men as Maximilian Arnold was sent off for a second yellow card offence.
It is a positive result overall for Sporting and they can now look forward to the knock-out stages of the tournament in which the competition will get tougher and tougher.
SPORTING XI: Rafael Veloso; Ricardo Esgaio, Edgar Ié, Rúben Semedo, Rodolfo Simões; Iuri Medeiros, Filipe Chaby, João Mário, João Teixeira (Carlos Mané 87′), Bruma; Betinho
Subs Not Used: Mickael Meira, Michael Pinto, Edilino Ié, Farley Rosa, Mateus Fonseca, Alexandre Guedes