Match report from PortuGOAL.net:
Islam Slimani made the difference for Sporting as he tapped home the winner in the 90th minute in Guimarães in what was an otherwise low quality encounter.The Lions now return to second place in the Primeira Liga ahead of Benfica.
Rui Vitória’s Guimarães side have lost their last 4 games in a row in all competitions and sat 7th in the Primeira Liga going into the game at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. André Santos started against the club he was released from over the summer.
Sporting were without Macros Rojo and Wilson Eduardo after they were sent off in the defeat to Benfica in the Taça de Portugal before the international break. Eric Dier took the place of Rojo and André Carrillo started in the place of Wilson Eduardo.
It was an energetic and rather chaotic first half in which neither side managed to hold the ball and chances were at a premium.
Vitória de Guimarães were the team with the best of the chances though in the first half. The first, coming after just 7 minutes gone in the match saw Moussa Maåzou through on goal after a long ball over the top. The Nigerian forward’s powerful shot hit Patrício’s near post.
Maåzou was causing problems for Sporting after a half hour played when he once again saw him self through against Rui Patrício. This time his shot was on target but well saved by the Portugal goalkeeper.
Although Sporting went into half-time with 54% of possession. it was Guimarães’ 8 chances to 1 that was the most prevalent statistic of how the game had gone thus far.
The second half followed in a similar pattern to the first although Sporting were able to find some greater quality whilst going forward but still looked lethargic.
André Carrillo’s 56th minute shot was perhaps Sporting’s first real chance of the game but Guimarães goalkeeper Douglas did well to save.
There was some controversy 5 minutes later when Guimarães countered after a Sporting corner. André André was bearing down on goal only to be fouled by the tracking back Cédric Soares. The were shouts from the home fans for a red card for the Sporting right-back but referee Paulo Baptista only produced a yellow. Perhaps Diego Capel, who was not far away from the incident, helped determine that Cédric was not stopping a clear goal-scoring chance.
Leonardo Jardim brought on Carlos Mané after 72 minutes to try and chance things for Sporting who were still failing to create much whilst going forward, the young forward replacing André Carrillo. Rui Vitória’s first chance saw Nii Plange replace Jean Barrientos. Plange had made debut for Sporting under Jesualdo Ferreira back in May after a spell with Sporting B.
There will be some concern for Rui Vitória when Guimarães had to bring of Tomané with an injury with Ricardo Gomes taking his place. Meanwhile Jardim was throwing in his last rolls of the dice with the inculsion of DIogo Salomão and Islam Slimani. Although none of the substitutions improved the quality of the game on display.
For a moment, Sporting thought they had taken the lead in the 87th minute. Douglas parried a good Cédric Soares shot into the path of substitute Islam Slimani but the assistant referee correctly raised his flag with the Algerian forward a yard offside.
It looked like the game would finish goalless, perhaps fitting to an occasion that lacked genuine quality but Islam Slimani stepped up once again for Sporting.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Eric Dier, Maurício (YC), Jefferson; William Carvalho (YC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Islam Slimani, 83′ – Scored, 90′); Diego Capel (Diogo Salomão, 78′), André Carrillo (Carlos Mané, 72′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Iván Piris, Fabián Rinaudo, Vítor Silva