A look back at another bumper weekend for Sporting. Both teams turned out victors with fine margins. Meanwhile there were developments for Vítor Silva and Rúben Semedo.
Sporting left it late to pick up their first win of the season at home to Arouca. Carlos Mané scored from close range after Junya Tanaka’s shot rebounded of the post. Meanwhile Nani’s first game back at Sporting resulted in a missed penalty.
Marco Silva was without the suspended William Carvalho so Oriol Rosell dropped into defensive midfield whilst Naby Sarr kept his place alongside Maurício in defence. Ricardo Esgaio started ahead of the injured Cédric Soares and Nani went straight into the starting XI along side André Carrillo.
The game was certainly much tougher than their first game at the Alvalade last season, also against Arouca, when they ran out 5-1 winners.
Arouca goalkeeper Mauro Goicoechea was the star of the first half keeping out Fredy Montero excellent on two occasions.
There were improvements in the second half and the game’s major controversial moment came in 63rd minute when Sporting won a penalty. Adrien Silva was set to take the penalty as usual until Nani insisted that he take the penalty to try and score on his return. However the winger’s penalty saved by the impressive Goicoechea to give Nani an awkward start on his return from Portugal.
It seemed like Arouca and Goicoechea were going to be able to continue to keep Sporting at bay if not go on and score themselves but Sporting left it late to grab the winner. Marco Silva must be given credit for his gung-ho tactics with Sporting ending the game in the unorthodox 4-1-5 formation.
A Jefferson cross found debutant substitute Junya Tanaka in space in the 3rd minute of extra time.. The Japanese forward’s snap shot hit the post but Carlos Mané pounced on the rebound to give Sporting the winner.
The late win should give Marco Silva’s team confidence ahead of the next game against Benfica at the Luz on Sunday.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson (YC); Oriol Rosell (Carlos Mané, 46′, Scored 90+3, YC), Adrien Silva (YC), André Martins (Diego Capel, 76′); Nani (Junya Tanaka, 77′, YC), André Carrillo, Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Jonathan Silva, João Mário
Sporting B also ran out winners with Ousmane Dramé getting the only goal in a 1-0 victory away to Olhanense.
The French forward diverted a low Daniel Podence cross into the goal in the 53rd minute.
Olhanense were reduced to 10-men in the 60th minute when former Sporting youngster Pedro Celestino received his second yellow card.
The teams were even when 81st minute goalscorer Dramé received a straight red card.
Late into the game Francisco Barão gave a professional debut for youngster Gelson Martins when the 19-year old came on as a substitute for Lewis Enoh.
The result moves Sporting B up to 6th in the Segunda Liga.
SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo, Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Iuri Medeiros, 66′); Daniel Podence (YC) (Filipe Chaby, 75′), Lewis Enoh (Gelson Martins, 90+2′), Ousmane Dramé (Scored, 53′) (RC)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos
Today Sporting announced two players moving to CF Reus Deportiu. It seems Sporting has close ties with the Catalonia club after Alexandre Guedes transferred permanently to Reus last season as well as Tobias Figueiredo spend a loan spell there.
Vítor Silva has made a permanent transfer to the Segunda División B club representing a large step down for the 30-year old midfielder. The transfer is without a free but should Reus sell on for more than €300,000 than Sporting will be due 25% of the fee.
Also Rúben Semedo has moved to the club on loan for the season with the Spanish club playing the player’s wages in full. The defender has had his share of off-field problems, most recently with a training ground bust-up with Lewis Enoh, so a loan move away is certainly a good option for the club.
Finally it seems Islam Slimani’s future with Sporting may have been resolved. The Algerian forward returned to first-team training today and could feature in the squad to face Benfica next weekend.