Sporting progressed into the quarter-finals with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Belenenses with the Dutchmen Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Stijn Schaars providing the goals.
Domingos Paciência chose a strong first XI with just one change from the side who beat Zurich midweek with Elias coming in to replace André Martins.
Belenenses start the game off well playing solid in defence and managing to strike on the counter-attack. Indeed, O Belém had a superb chance to opening the scoring after 25 minutes when they found themselves with a man over on the counter attack. The ball fell to Rodrigo Antônio in a great position but fortunately for Sporting his shot was well saved by the feet of Rui Patrício.
The away side continued to threaten as Sporting found it hard to break-down José Mota’s excellent defensive system and the two sides went into the break goalless.
For the start of the second half Domingos Paciência made a change bringing on the returning André Carrillo for the ineffectual Valeri Bojinov.
It took only 5 minutes for Sporting to take the lead after the restart. Emiliano Insúa was released down the left hand side and his early ball in found Ricky van Wolfswinkel to finish at the far post.
Sporting bad the ball in the back of the net again when André Carrillo found Diego Capel finishing cleverly past goalkeeper Coelho. The assistant referee was proven on replays to have been correct to disallow the goal.
After 66 minutes Stijn Schaars linked up well with Ricky van Wolfswinkel, the striker returned the ball for Schaars to chip the goalkeeper and put Sporting into a secure lead.
The two goal lead meant Domingos could afford to give time to André Martins and later Santiago Arias as Sporting in the end breezed through to the quarter finals after an even first half. Sporting will now face a tough fixture against Marítimo on the 21st December.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC, Santiago Arias 72′)), Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa; Daniel Carriço, Stijn Schaars (Scored 66′), Elias (André Martins 72′); Diego Capel (YC), Valeri Bojinov (André Carrillo 46′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 50′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Evaldo Fabiano, André Santos, Diego Rubio