Match Report: SPORTING 1-0 Olympiacos

Sporting won their final pre-season game 1-0 thanks to an excellent Elias strike in the second-half.

Ricardo Sá Pinto’s final pre-season first team may perhaps give clues as to who will start the opening league game away to Vitória de Guimarães next Sunday. Sá Pinto went for Rui Patrício behind a defence partnership of Marcos Rojo and Khalid Boulahrouz with Cédric at right-back and Insúa at left-back. Adrien, Gelson Fernandes and Elias made up the midfield and as familiar attacking front three of Diego Capel, André Carrillo and Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

The game was part of the new Troféu Cinco Violinos (Five Violins Trophy) named after Jesus Correia, Manuel Vasques, Fernando Peyroteo, José Travassos, and Albano the Cinco Violions from the late 1940 and early 1950s – Sporting’s most successful period.

The game went off to a slow start with Sporting holding plenty of possession but finding it difficult to break down Olympiacos’ solid defence. A defence typical of the coaching capabilities of the new coach, Leandro Jardim. Both sides went into the break goalless.

Sporting were unchanged after the first half and it didn’t take long before they were back in control of the ball again.

Sporting’s first real chance of the second half came in the 53rd minute when Adrien’s low cross in front of goal just evaded the outstretched boot of van Wolfswinkel.

The ball wasn’t cleared well by Olympiacos and immediately Sporting were on the attack again. Elias managed to find room just outside the box and his low strike crept passed Roy Carroll and into the right-hand corner to put Sporting ahead after 55 minutes gone on the clock.

Sporting had chances to increase their lead. Diego Capel in particular was guilty of not converting his shot after a good one-two with Elias.

After 70 minutes Ricardo Sá Pinto made the first changes of the game with Jeffrén Suárez, Fabián Rinaudo and André Martins replacing Diego Capel, Adrien Silva and the goal-scorer, Elias.

Olympiacos had an excellent chance in the 77th minute but Emiliano Insúa was on-hand to make a superb goal-line clearance for Sporting.

Zakaria Labyad made his Sporting debut on the 79th minute as substitute for André Carrillo. Labyad looked lively in his cameo forcing a good save out of Roy Carroll late on in the match.

Sporting managed to see-out the game and go into the new season with a win after what was a solid performance at the Alvalade.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Emiliano Insúa; Gelson Fernandes (Stijn Schaars 79′, Adrien Silva (Fabián Rinaudo 70′, YC), Elias (Scored 55′) (André Martins 70′); André Carrillo (Zakaria Labyad 79′), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suárez 70′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Xandão, Bruno Pereirinha, Danijel Pranjić, Valentín Viola, Wilson Eduardo

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