Sporting B drew 1-1 with Leixões in a high eventful game in Alcochete that had more emphasis on the referee than the football. Referee Hélder Malheiro brandished the red card no more than 7 times in the game.
The first came early on when Mauro Riquicho was sent off whilst giving away a penalty. Riquicho himself had just come back into the side after serving a suspension for his previous red card. Brazilian Talles scored the resulting penalty for Leixões.
It was a penalty in Sporting’s favour that gave the home side the equaliser before half-time. There was more controversy: Goalkeeper Chastre was sent off as well as a player on the Leixões bench, Moreira, meaning the forward could not be used a substitute for the game. Ricardo Pinto came on for Chastre but could do nothing to stop Esgaio, who is excellent from the penalty spot.
The red cards were even more plentiful in the second half. Firstly, Nuno Reis received a second yellow card leaving Sporting with 9 men on the pitch.
Then Hélder Malheiro turned his attentions to the visiting team. A player who has been heavily linked with Sporting recently, Anderson Esiti, received his second yellow card in the 80th minute making the times both down to 9 men.
In the 89th minute Cadinha was also sent off leaving Leixões with just 8 players left on the pitch and with Sporting little time to take any advantage. The visitors also had assistant coach João Esteves sent off from the bench as well.
Both team’s managers were dismayed and shocked by the refereeing and Leixões have requested an emergency meeting with the Conselho de Arbitragem of the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol (referee’s council of the Portuguese football association). Sporting have yet to comment on the match.
SPORTING B XI: Mickaël Meira; Mauro Riquicho (RC), Rúben Semedo, Nuno Reis (YC, RC), Mica Pinto (YC); Hugo Sousa, Wallyson Mallmann (YC) (Matheus Pereira, 87′), Kikas; Ricardo Esgaio (Scored, 43′), Iuri Medeiros (Filipe Chaby, 56′), Cristian Ponde (YC) (Daniel Podence, 56′, YC)
Substitutes Not Used: Luís Ribeiro, Tobias Figueiredo, Wilson Manafá, Lewis Enoh