Sporting beat Nacional 1-0 in a close fought contest thanks to Oguchi Onyewu’s first half header.
Domingos Paciência made two chances for the side that beat Belenenses 2-0 in the Taça de Portugal last Monday with André Carrillo replacing Valeri Bojinov and André Martins replacing the suspended Stijn Schaars.
The game started at a frantic pace right from kick-off with Sporting have the majority of the possession and chances. It was Ricky van Wolfswinkel who had the first real chance for the home side but his close-range header was hit straight at Nacional goalkeeper Marcelo Valverde.
Sporting did hit the net though after 22 minutes when André Carrillo won a freekick in midfield. André Martins delivered the ball in which was flicked on by Emiliano Insúa into the path Oguchi Onyewu to head home from close range, the American getting his 2nd Sporting goal.
Nacional’s best first half chance came from when Rene Mihelič’s misplaced cross hit the top of Rui Patrício’s goal.
Just before the break Sporting had the ball in the net again but Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s tap-in was ruled out as Diego Capel was offside as he delivered the ball to the Dutchman.
After the end of a fast-paced first half the game slowed down in the second half. Pedro Caixinha’s side began the restart as much more of a threat going forward.
Mario Rondón should have pulled Nacional level in the 57th minute when he found himself in space from Claudemir’s cross but was unable to get his resulting shot on target.
Paciência soon made changes, first Bruno Pereirinha coming on for André Carrillo and later on in the game André Santos coming on in place of the once again impressive André Martins.
Nacional had the best chance of the game again through Mario Rondón in the 75th minute when he had a free header in the box but Patrício did brilliantly well to deny him from close range.
It seemed Nacional were looking more and more likely to score but when Danijel Stojanović received his second yellow cards just 7 minutes after Rondón’s chance it took the wind out of Os Alvinegros‘s sails.
The numerical advantage meant Sporting could comfortably see out the rest of the game and make it now 3 wins and 3 clean sheets in a row.
Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu (Scored 22′), Emiliano Insúa; Daniel Carriço, André Martins (YC, André Santos 67′), Elias; André Carrillo (Bruno Pereirinha 59′), Diego Capel (Santiago Arias 85′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Evaldo Fabiano, Valeri Bojinov, Diego Rubio