Sporting’s U19 side ended the group stages of the NextGen tournament in emphatic fashion beating Liverpool 5-1.
The fixture had the potential to be a fairly stale affair with both teams having progressed through the group stages already. Happily though the game turned out to be an exciting encounter with both sides having chances with some good attacking football on display.
Edgar Ié opened the scoring for Sporting after 18 minutes when Betinho laid off a free-kick from outside the area for the Guinea-Bissauan to drill a low hard shot past the reach of Tyrell Belford to put the group leaders ahead.
Felipe Chaby’s low drive gave Sporting a 2 goal margin when he was found in acres of space in the Liverpool box.
Liverpool pulled one back just 4 minutes later with Michael Ngoo shooting past Rafael Veloso. The big man did well to weave his way through the penalty box to put the Anfield back in with a chance.
Ricardo Sá Pinto’s side looked good in possession but were susceptible to the pace of Liverpool on the counter-attack and before the end of the half Rafael Veloso needed to make a few saves to keep Sporting’s lead in tact.
It took 8 minutes after the restart for Sporting to grab a third goal – this one a superb strike from Betinho. Betinho skillfully converting a cross in with a spectacular overhead scissors kick to put Sporting 3-1 ahead and grabbing his 5th goal of the NextGen tournament. Betinho was getting on the end of a cross again once again on the 61st minute to make it 4 for Sporting and seal the victory for the young lions.
Sporting weren’t finished there though as substitute Gaël Etock hit a superb strike from long range over the head of Tyrell Belford to add extra panache to the final scoreline an ensure they go into the knock-out stages as one of the tournament’s favourites.
SPORTING XI: Rafael Veloso; Ricardo Esgaio, Edgar Ié (Scored 19′), Tiago Ilori, Mica; Iuri Medeiros (YC), João Mário, João Carlos, Felipe Chaby (Scored 34′) (Agostinho Cá 67′), Bruma (Carlos Mané 74′); Betinho (Scored 53′, 61′) (Gaël Etock 82′, Scored 86′)
Subs Not Used: Pedro Duarte, Rúben Semedo, Rodolfo Simões, Mateus Fonseca