Summer Transfers 2016 Review: Departures

So, how did Sporting do in the transfer market this summer? Here’s a look. First, we’ll start with the departures before the far more exciting stuff of arrivals.

André Carrillo to Benfica (Free) – Enough has been said of this transfer already.

Héldon Ramos to Rio Ave (Loan) – Another loan move for Cape Verdean and once again at Rio Ave. The forward doesn’t seem to feature in Jorge Jesus’ plans so it is only a matter of time before his permanent departure.

Mica Pinto to Belenenses (Free) – Mica Pinto was progressing well in the youth system and B teams but he suffered some major injuries which has hurt his development. Hopefully he can get back to his potential at Belenenses.

Luís Ribeiro to Estoril (Free) – Another player who had plenty of games for the B team but didn’t quite make the grade. Currently has José Moreira and Thierry Graça to beat in the pecking line up.

André Geraldes to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Loan moves to Vitória de Setúbal seem to be a good thing for a lot of Sporting players lately, like João Mário and Rúben Semedo. Geraldes is 25-years old now so he really needs to impress if he wants to break into the Sporting first team.

Tobias Figueiredo to Nacional (Loan) – Tobias was on the fringes of the first team, with the arrival of Sebastián Coates making it difficult for him to get game time. A full season loan at Primeira Liga side should do that and so far he has scored against Benfica for the Madeira side, so that’s a good start.

Francisco Sousa to Gondomar (Free) – Featured for the U19s last season but not deemed good enough to be promoted to the B team so he leaves for Gondomar.

Jorge Silva to Leixões (Free) – Returns to his former club after failing to make the grade with the B team.

Seejou King to Aves (Free) – Had a really bad injury last season but Seejou King is another one who did well for the B team but couldn’t find their way into the senior side. Has yet to make his debut for the club.

Miguel Lopes to Akhisar (Loan) – Miguel Lopes is still a victim of his own high wage demands, another ghost of the Godinho Lopes regime. He joins a large Portuguese speaking contingent at Akhisar in Turkey.

Rafael Barbosa to União da Madeira (Loan) – Although the B team could use his services so far this season, Barbosa has been given a loan to União to improve his game. The 20-year old featured regularly last season and has so far played 6 times for União.

Zhang Lingfeng to Torreense (Free) – The Chinese midfielder didn’t make the grade for the club at youth level so has been given a new lease of life at Torreense.

Domingos Duarte to Belenenses (Loan) – Has played in all 3 of Belenenses’ opening games so far. The young central defender has been improving massively in the last year so can hopefully evolve to the next level in Belém.

Filipe Chaby to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Chaby was an excellent prospect at youth levels but a few injuries have stalled his development. At 22-years old now it’s important that the midfielder impresses for Covilhã this season.

Cristian Ponde to Sporting da Covilhã (Loan) – Much like Chaby, this is Cristian Ponde’s season to try and shine. This is the forward’s first loan move away from the club and scored his first goal for Covilhã against Portimonense last weekend.

Oriol Rosell to Belenenses (Loan) – Rosell didn’t get as much game time at Vitória de Guimarães last season as was expected or needed. It seems Jorge Jesus isn’t a fan of the Spanish midfielder so this may be more a shop window loan for him.

Simeon Slavchev to Lechia Gdansk (Loan) – The Bulgarian midfielder arrived at Sporting a few years ago with a good reputation in his native Bulgaria. Slavchev has yet to convince though so he goes on another excursion, this time to Poland.

Hadi Sacko to Leeds United (Loan) – The French forward scored the winning goal on his Championship debut against Birmingham City. It is unlikely that he will return to Sporting after his loan season though.

Ousmane Dramé to Moreirense (Free) – The French forward was given a new lease of life in Portugal after his career in Italy floundered. He will be remembered for his one game and one amazing goal in the first team.

Zezinho to Levadiakos (Free) – The Guinea-Bissau international looked good for the first team when Jesualdo Ferreira first brought him in back in 2012, but the midfielder fell just short of the required ability for the first team.

Ryan Gauld to Vitória de Setúbal (Loan) – Another player who will hopefully make a large amount of progress at Setúbal. This is the Scottish midfielder’s first taste of Primeira Liga football so hopefully he can progress and fulfil his massive potential.

Francisco Geraldes to Moreirense (Loan) – A player who has already had a great start to life at Moreirense. When the rumours of Adrien Silva possibly moving to Leicester City, there were many calls for Geraldes to be called from loan to fulfil his role. Geraldes looks set to have an outstanding season and will hopefully return ready for the first team next season.

Aya Diouf to Sertanense (Loan) – The Senegalese defender only joined Sporting’s academy a few years ago and will move on loan to Sertanense before being given a B team shot.

Guilherme Oliveira to Cova da Piedade (Loan) – The young goalkeeper has plenty of competition at the club with Pedro Silva, Vladimir Stojković and Luís Maximiano currently the favoured choices. The 21-year old desperately needs regular gam time.

Teófilo Gutiérrez to Rosario Central (Loan, €1,200,000 fee) – Just when Teó was getting good he decided he wanted to return to Argentina. The move was a prolonged affair with the Colombian preferring River Plate as his destination. Although this is a loan move I wouldn’t expect to see Gutiérrez in a Sporting shirt again.

Kikas to Leixões (Free) – Kikas certainly can’t be faulted for his loyalty to the club and it’s only a shame he couldn’t break into the first team. Hopefully goes on to have a great career.

André Martins to Olympiakos (Free) – Despite his promise, André Martins couldn’t make his way into the team with the arrival of Jorge Jesus. Now he joins Paulo Bento in Greece and another player who hopefully finds his way back into prominence.

João Palhinha to Belenenses (Loan) – João Palhinha looked awfully close to getting into the first team this season but just fell short despite featuring a lot in pre-season. Hopefully improves ready to take his spot next season.

Alberto Aquilani to Pescara (Free) – After being stupidly sent off in a humiliating pre-season friendly, that probably sealed the departure of Aquilani. The Italian midfielder looked classy whenever he played but was not going to break into the first team last season and it seems even with the departure of João Mário was not a part of Jesus’ plans and departs.

Naldo to Krasnodar (€4,500,000) – Bought for €3m and sold for €4.5m, isn’t a bad piece of business from Bruno de Carvalho. Initially the Brazilian looked solid alongside Paulo Oliveira in defence but with the arrival of Sebastián Coates and the emergence of Rúben Semedo he found games hard to come by.

Hernán Barcos to Vélez Sarsfield (Loan) – Barcos didn’t impress at all in his stint, joining as part of the transfer of Fredy Montero out to China last season, he didn’t come close to the Colombian’s talent. Although his departure is a loan he is unlikely to return to the club.

João Mário to Internazionale (€40,000,000) – What can we say about João Mário? On the pitch and off the pitch the creative midfielder was a class act. There’s been plenty written about this so I don’t need to expand too much but hopefully João Mário excel at Inter and returns to the club one day in the future. The transfer fee, of course, is a record sale by Sporting and credit must go to Bruno de Carvalho for the negotiations.

Jonathan Silva to Boca Juniors (Loan) – The left-back has had his loan move to Boca Juniors extended after impressing there. With Jefferson seemingly not favoured by Jorge Jesus and Bruno César and Marvin Zeegelaar as the alternatives there’s certainly a spot for the Argentinian in the squad next season.

Ewerton to Kaiserslautern (Loan) – The Brazilian central defender was similar to Naldo in the sense that initially he looked solid but with other players emerging he fell down the pecking order. A move to the Bundesliga could be a good option for him and the German club have the option to buy the player at the end of the loan move.

Iuri Medeiros to Boavista (Loan) – Medeiros again got very close to the first team but just fell short so he will go on another loan move. He impressed at Moreirense last season and at 22-years old now this should hopefully be his final loan move before breaking into the first team.

Carlos Mané to Stuttgart (Loan) – Held back by the emergence of Gelson Martins and, perhaps, the arrival of Jorge Jesus, Carlos Mané hasn’t quite made it yet. After being incredibly promising early on and popping up with goals it seems his future may lie elsewhere. Of course, after his 2 season loan spell at Stuttgart, Mané could return to the club better than ever.

Daniel Podence to Moreirense (Loan) – Much like Iuri Medeiros, Daniel Podence was very close to making it into the first team this season. The diminutive and tricky attacker looked impressive in pre-season but recent transfers meant his first team appearances would be rare. With Sporting’s currently stacked list of young, tricky, quick attacking wingers extending to Matheus Pereira, Gelson Martins, Iuri Medeiros, Carlos Mané and Podence himself a loan move is the best option for him.

Wallyson Mallmann to Standard Liège (Loan) – Again so close yet so far for Wallyson as far as being promoted to the first team goes. Another loan spell may well be his last if he doesn’t impress Jorge Jesus.

Rúben Ribeiro to Aves (Free) – Some websites seem to have this transfer down as a loan but O Jogo claimed the player had rescinded his contract to join Aves on a 2-year deal. Indeed, a loan would probably have been better had he wanted to try and move up the ranks but it seems he’ll be going a different route.

Salim CIssé to Olhanense (Free) – The Guinean forward initially looked very promising but he hasn’t developed as Sporting would have hoped so he could revive his career with Olhanense after rescinding his contract.

Islam Slimani to Leicester City (€30,000,000) – Obrigado, Islam Slimani. Super Slim won everyone over with his passion, his late goals and his performances in the big games. Again, not much else is needed to be said about him as he was a firm favourite with the fans. Initially joining for €300,000 and leaving for 100x more, this will also be seen as the club’s best bit of transfer business to date. Hopefully goes on to have an excellent career and return in the future.

Zakaria Labyad (Released) – What could have been with Zakaria Labyad. The Moroccan has the talent and the potential but he can’t seem to find it when it matters, he won’t be missed and was a relic of the Godinho era.

Total loanees – 24 (almost putting Chelsea to shame)
Income – €75,700,000

Part 2 to follow later…

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Europa League Squad Announced

Sporting have announced their Europa League squad for the upcoming group stages. No real surprises in the squads, Sporting certainly benefitting from being able to register Tobias Figueiredo, Carlos Mané and Gelson Martins as “B” players.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug, Guilherme Oliveira*, Pedro Silva*, Vladimir Stojković*
Defenders: Jonathan Silva, Jefferson, Ewerton, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ricardo Esgaio, Tobias Figueiredo*, Domingos Duarte*, Mauro Riquicho*
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani, William Carvalho, João Mário, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Bruno Paulista, Francisco Geraldes*, Fábio Martins*, Rafael Barbosa*
Forwards: Junya Tanaka, Islam Slimani, Fredy Montero, André Carrillo, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Carlos Mané*, Cristian Ponde*, Daniel Podence*, Gelson Martins*, Matheus Pereira*

*”B list”

SPORTING 1-1 Paços de Ferreira

Sporting will be extremely disappointed to only get a point at home to Paços de Ferreira. André Carrillo’s first half goal was cancelled out by Pelé’s penalty after João Pereira was sent off for a foul on Cícero.

Jorge Jesus started Alberto Aquilani ahead of Adrien Silva in midfield for his first start, and Fredy Montero started ahead of Teófilo Gutiérrez.

Perhaps tired from the game against CSKA, Sporting started off slowly in the game, though with plenty of possession.

Indeed, when Sporting did get their rhythm, late in the first half, it lead to the opening goal. André Carrillo slotting home after some excellent build-up play with Bryan Ruiz getting another assist.

Paços improved in the second-half but Sporting still looked closer to find a goal with Gelson Martins impressing.

Jorge Jesus was forced into a change after 71 minutes when Jefferson picked up an injury forcing Jonathan Silva on. Sporting will be hoping the Brazilian is fit enough for Wednesday’s big game.

Sporting fans had been happy with referee Manuel Oliveira and it so it was ironic that when he decided to send off João Pereira for a foul Cícero and award a penalty it was probably one of the few decisions Sporting fans agreed with. Midfielder Pelé made no mistake, sending Rui Patrício the wrong way.

With 10 men Sporting couldn’t find another way through a resolute Paços de Ferreira defence and there will be huge disappointment to be dropping 2 points at home so early in the season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (RC), Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Jefferson (Jonathan Silva, 71′); Alberto Aquilani (Adrien Silva, 63′), João Mário; Bryan Ruiz, André Carrillo; Fredy Montero (Gelson Martins, 46′), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané, Teófilo Gutiérrez

Sporting Announce Champions League Squad

Sporting have announced their squad for the upcoming Champions League play-off games against CSKA Moscow. The inclusions of William Carvalho and Ewerton, who have been injured over pre-season, is a welcome return.

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck, Ažbe Jug
Defenders: João Pereira, Ricardo Esgaio, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Ewerton, Jefferson, Jonathan Silva
Médios: William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Alberto Aquilani, João Mário, André Martins
Avançados: André Carrillo, Bryan Ruiz, Junya Tanaka, Fredy Montero, Teófilo Gutiérrez, Islam Slimani

This, of course, doesn’t include the “B” list of players allowed to be included to Champions League squads. Any players can be registered who were born after 1st January 1994. This includes the likes of Wallyson Mallmann, Rúben Semedo, Gelson Martins and Carlos Mané.

Supertaça: Benfica 0-1 SPORTING

It was a debut to remember for new manager Jorge Jesus as he defeated his former club 1-0 to lift the Supertaça.

There had been plenty of hype around Jorge Jesus and new Benfica manager Rui Vitória but at last the action was all about what was happening on the pitch.

Jorge Jesus had Sporting in a 4-2-2-2 with Naldo, Bryan Ruiz and Teófilo Gutiérrez all making their debuts, as well as João Pereira making his first appearance after he joined the club for a second time. Only the injured Ewerton and William Carvalho missed out on the squad.

Sporting were the brighter team throughout the game and started well. Indeed, Sporting could have been leading in the first half had Téofilo Gutiérrez’s goal now wrongly been disallowed for offside.

In the second-half again Sporting were the brighter of the teams and got their breakthrough in the 53rd minute when André Carrillo’s shot deflected of Gutiérrez to wrong foot Júlio César. The Peruvian will be claiming the goal despite the Colombian’s celebrations.

Benfica had a decent shout for a penalty turned down by referee Jorge Sousa when Nico Gaitán was brought down in the area but aside from that incident there wasn’t too much to trouble Rui Patrício and his defence.

It turned out to be a well deserved victory for Sporting and another trophy after the Taça de Portugal last season. An excellent start to what could be a very exciting new season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Paulo Oliveira, Naldo, Jefferson; Adrien Silva, João Mário; André Carrillo (Gelson Martins, 90+4′), Bryan Ruiz (Rúben Semedo, 86′); Téofilo Gutiérrez (Carlos Mané, 70′), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tobias Figueiredo, Jonathan Silva, Fredy Montero

Leões/Lions Awards 2015

We’re back, after many months of not posting to deliver a belated end of season awards post. I can’t even get into Jorge Jesus, Cédric Soares or any possible future transfers just yet, but hey, here we go.

Goal of the Season: Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link) – It was good enough to bring Nani to tears after scoring it, an absolutely brilliant half-volley. The set up was easy enough, a simple throw-in from Miguel Lopes, but Nani’s header set up and the winger waited for the perfect moment to unleash an unstoppable shot. Wonderful.
Runners-up: Nani vs. Schalke (Link), Junya Tanaka vs. Braga (Link), Fredy Montero vs. Marítimo (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Braga (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Estoril (Link)
Bonus: Nani vs. Maribor (Link), Islam Slimani vs. Penafiel (Link), Fredy Montero vs. Paços de Ferreira (Link), Adrien Silva vs. Gil Vicente (Link), Nani vs. Gil Vicente (Link), Fredy Montero vs. Vitória de Setúbal (Link)
Hilarity Bonus: Islam Slimani vs. Benfica (Link)
2014: Carlos Mané vs. Marítimo (Link)
2013: Ricky van Wolfswinkel vs. Braga (Link)
2012: Marat Izmailov vs. Rio Ave (Link)

Worst Signing of the Season: I’m not sure why I created this award, probably because a few years ago there were so many terrible signings that it was difficult to pick just one. This time I will go with Simeon Slavchev, despite the €2,500,000 price tag the Bulgarian seemed unable to settle in Portugal, not looking close to breaking in the first team. He had plenty of competition of course, but looked one dimensional when he was called up and was sent on loan to Bolton Wanderers. May well improve next season.
Runners-up: Naby Sarr (a few blunders but still developing), Ramy Rabia (ditto)
2014: Gérson Magrão
2013: Khalid Boulahrouz
2012: Valeri Bojinov

Best Signing of the Season: Paulo Oliveira – It seems Sporting finally got the defender we deserve. The classy centre-back initially couldn’t get into Marco Silva’s team ahead of Naby Sarr and Maurício for some unknown reason. However, he soon cemented his spot in the team and created solid partnerships with Tobias Figueiredo and later Ewerton. At just 23-years old the transfer marks a solid investment for the future.
Runners-up: Nani (no wages? Brilliant!), Ewerton (another loan deal, fit in perfectly)
2014: Leonardo Jardim
2013: Fabrice Fokobo
2012: Stijn Schaars

U23 Player of the Season: Paulo Oliveira – As stated above, Paulo Oliveira is a classy addition in the squad. Set to have a great future for Sporting and Portugal.
Runners-up: João Mário, Carlos Mané
2014: William Carvalho
2013: André Martins
2012: Ricky van Wolfswinkel

B-Team Player of the Season: Wallyson Mallmann – The combative Brazilian midfielder’s breakout year. Ever present in the B team as well as featuring at the fringe of the first team. Wallyson will hope to try and break into the first team next season.
Runners-up: Gelson Martins, Ryan Gauld
2014: Ricardo Esgaio
2013: Ricardo Esgaio

Player of the Season: André Carrillo – The arrival of Nani seems to have brought out the best in André Carrillo, who’s similarity in style to the Portugal winger is evident. The Peruvian was the best he has ever been this year, contributing with goals and plenty of assists. A new contract for Carrillo is surely one of Bruno de Carvalho’s priorities in the summer.
Runners-up: Nani, Adrien Silva
2014: William Carvalho
2013: Rui Patrício
2012: Rui Patrício

News Round-Up: João de Deus takes the B team, International Call-Ups, Two Victories

There’s plenty to catch up on after a few days without a post so we’ll start with the most recent news.

João de Deus will be taking over from Francisco Barão as the coach of the Sporting B team. The former Oliveirense and Gil Vicente manager, who had a modest playing career before becoming a coach, will be working alongside Francisco Barão to coach the side. Barão now will be once against the assistant as he was previously when Abel Ferreira was coach.

This week is another international week and there’s plenty of Sporting players involved. The highlights include Ryan Gauld being selected for the Scotland first team and Tobias Figueiredo being named in the Portugal U21 team. Not to mention Sporting having 6 players in new coach Fernando Santos’ first selection. Here’s the full list:

Algeria: Islam Slimani
Japan: Junya Tanaka
Portugal: Rui Patrício, Cédric Soares, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, João Mário, Nani
Portugal U21: Tobias Figueiredo, Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané, Iuri Medeiros
Peru: André Carrillo
Scotland: Ryan Gauld

There was plenty of good results across many different Sporting teams in various sports but we’ll focus on the B team and the first team here.

The B team returned to winning ways, in what we know now was Francisco Barão’s last B team game as head coach, with a 2-1 win at home to Trofense. With Tobias Figueiredo called up to the first team for this game Domingos Duarte made his full professional debut in central defence.

Sporting’s first goal came after just 3 minutes when Papa Alassane diverted the ball into his own goal from a corner whilst under pressure from Sambinha.

The second goal came in the 22nd minute when Wallyson Mallmann completed a fantastic chip from outside of the area as he beat goalkeeper Diogo Freire to the ball.

The B team looked comfortable but just after the restart Ricardo Esgaio was sent off after receiving his second yellow card of the game.

Hélder Sousa managed to pull one back for Trofense as they enjoyed more of the play with superior numbers but Sporting managed to hold out and pick up a much needed win.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro (YC); Ricardo Esgaio (YC, RC), Sambinha, Domingos Duarte, Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo (Francisco Geraldes, 81′), Wallyson Mallmann (Scored, 22′), Ryan Gauld; Hadi Sacko (YC) (Mauro Riquicho, 56′), Daniel Podence (Iuri Medeiros, 68′), Salim Cissé
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Liu Yiming, Ousmane Dramé, Lewis Enoh

The first team managed to pick up another 4-0 win away from home after an explosive closing third of the game saw Sporting pick up all of their goals. A particular highlight included Fredy Montero grabbing a goal once again.

Paulo Oliveira started in central defence with Maurício out injured. Elsewhere André Martins played alongside William Carvalho and João Mário in midfield giving Adrien Silva a rest.

It was a gruelling first hour for Sporting with Penafiel defending well and Sporting find it difficult to carve out space. Nani could have put the visitors ahead when he connected to André Carrillo’s cross but miscued his effort.

With Sporting labouring in the first half Marco Silva made a double substitution in the 57th minute that turned the tide of the game with William Carvalho and André Martins being replaced by Adrien Silva and Fredy Montero.

Islam Slimani headed home past the diving Alireza Haghighi from Jefferson’s cross in the 69th minute to open the scoring for Sporting.

He then muscled his way into the path of Cédric Soares’ long ball over the top to finish beautifully by hitting the under side of the cross bar and into the net just 2 minutes later.

Fredy Montero’s return to scoring came after an excellent Sporting attacking move. Diego Capel’s low cross found the Colombian able to table in at the far post and end his barren run with his first goal in 300 days.

Montero then turned provider for Sporting’s final goal. Montero’s low ball into the path of Nani allowed the winger to finish with great skill from close range and add extra emphasis to the scoreline.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Naby Sarr, Paulo Oliveira, Jefferson (YC); William Carvalho (YC) (Fredy Montero, 57′, Scored, 82′, YC), João Mário, André Martins (Adrien Silva, 57′); André Carrillo (Diego Capel, 70′), Nani (Scored, 85′) (YC), Islam Slimani (Scored, 69′, 71′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Jonathan Silva, Oriol Rosell, Junya Tanaka

Result: Gil Vicente 0-4 SPORTING

Sporting bounced back from the midweek disappointing with a vastly improved performance away to a listless Gil Vicente. Adrien Silva, Nani, Islam Slimani and André Carrillo all got on the scoresheet but it was João Mário’s performance that stole the show.

Marco Silva made a few changes from his midweek team. Jefferson was suspended and so Argentinian left-back Jonathan Silva took his place to make his debut for the first team. Elsewhere Diego Capel started ahead of André Carrillo and João Mário made his first start at the expense of André Martins. Rui Patrício’s start meant he completed 200 Primeira Liga games for the club.

It took just 10 minutes for Sporting to open the scoring when Adrien Silva unleashed a powerful drive that Adriano Facchini was unable to stop after Slimani’s pass.

Almost immediately after Sporting topped that goal with an even better one. João Mário found Nani who’s fantastically skilful give and go with Adrien Silva found the winger just outside the area. Nani’s strike was perfectly placed to beat Adriano and double Sporting’s lead in style.

Marco Silva’s side were dominant through out the first half with plenty of shots on goal. The pick of the chances fell to Islam Slimani who was put clean through by João Mário but was denied by Adriano.

The intensity of Sporting dropped after the half-time break allowing Gil Vicente to find more of the ball but they were unable to cause much concern for Rui Patrício.

Meanwhile Sporting looked more dangerous on the break and got the 3rd goal of the game in the 69th minute. Sarr’s headed clearance was won by Slimani who played a great one-two with João Mário. Again the midfielder found Slimani in an excellent position and this time the Algerian made no mistake.

Sporting completed the scoring in the 84th minute this time through an excellent counter attack. Substitute Fredy Montero started the attack picking up a loose ball in midfield and fed the ball to João Mário. João Mário then spread the ball out to the left for Nani who returned it again to the midfielder. Selflessly, the youngster laid the ball on for André Carrillo to score off the bench and end a fantastic attacking move.

The result will give Marco Silva’s side plenty of confidence ahead of Friday’s derby at the Alvalade against Porto. João Mário’s fantastic man of the match performance will surely cement his place in midfield and Jefferson finally sees his left-back spot under threat by the very solid Jonathan Silva.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jonathan Silva; William Carvalho (YC) (Oriol Rosell, 63′), Adrien Silva (Scored, 10′), João Mário; Nani (Scored, 12′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo, 71, Scored, 84′), Islam Slimani (Scored, 69′) (YC) (Fredy Montero, 74′)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Ricardo Esgaio, Carlos Mané

Week Round-Up: Win, Lose, Draw

There were varying results for all 3 of Sporting’s sides on Wednesday: the U19s beat Maribor, the B team lost to Chaves and the first team threw it away against Maribor.

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:
Sporting contrived to throw away two points in Slovenia after a defensive calamity allowed Maribor to equalise in the final seconds of the game upon their Champions League return.

The Lisbon club had taken the lead in the 80th minute when Nani struck superbly to grab his first goal since returning to the club. That goal was cancelled out when Naby Sarr and Maurício both produced awful clearances leaving 18-year old Luka Zahović to equalise for Maribor.

Sporting may have been 5 years without Champions League football but their opponents for the night, Maribor, have been out of the competition for a full 15 years. Only Adrien, Diego Capel and Nani were not making their Champions League debuts.

Marco Silva made just one change from the team that disappointed at the Alvalade against Belenenses in the last game, Cédric Soares returning to his right-back slot at the expense of the capable back-up, Ricardo Esgaio.

Sporting had the better of the opening stages of the half but it was Maribor who had the better of the chances, Agim Ibraimi finding too much space and forcing a decent save out of Rui Patrício.

The best moment of the first-half for Sporting came in the 28th minute when André Carrillo, Sporting’s best player so far this season, played a fantastic one-two with Islam Slimani before hitting his effort straight at goalkeeper Jasmin Handović. The Peruvian picked up the rebound and curled a superb shot onto the bar.

From that point on came Maribor’s best stint of the game in which they created plenty of opportunities. Marcos Tavares had a decent opportunity when he found space to head the ball but his attempt was straight at Patrício.

The home side’s best chance of the half though fell to defender Aleksander Rajčević. The defender’s header struck Patrício’s post with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Marco Silva made one change at half-time with the ineffectual André Martins taken off and João Mário on to replace him.

The change balanced Sporting’s play and soon they were on top again. Nani picking out a great cross for Islam Slimani, but the Algerian’s header was straight at the goalkeeper.

Despite Sporting’s better control of the second half their defence was shaky. Tavares had another great opportunity but Cédric Soares’ block was essential.

Nani grew into the game and had a decent chance in the 64th minute but Handović was there to stop him.

There was nothing the goalkeeper could do about Nani’s eventual goal in the 80th minute. The winger did well to find space for himself to shoot from outside the box and drilled an effort low into the bottom right corner.

It looked like Sporting were going to kick off their Champions League place with a win but calamity struck in the 2nd minute of stoppage time. Naby Sarr headed a loose clearance that Maurício tried to boot clear, but only succeeded in shanking the ball horribly towards his own net, placing it perfectly for the Portugal-born Luka Zahović to head past Rui Patrício and give Maribor a well-earned point.

This 5th draw in 6 games for Marco Silva and is a cause for concern. Defensive errors are becoming too frequent with the current centre-back partnership and it may not be long before there is a change at the back.

Although Sporting may have thought it unlikely to get out of the group stages this really makes it an uphill struggle. Realistically, Sporting will need to get something out of Schalke and Chelsea now to go through to the knock-out stages, otherwise the Europa League will beckon.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício (YC), Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (João Mário, 46′); André Carrillo (Carlos Mané, 66), Nani (Scored, 80), Islam Slimani (Fredy Montero, 90+1)
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ricardo Esgaio Paulo Oliveira, Diego Capel

Francisco Barão’s Sporting B were 2-0 down after just 7 minutes gone in their game away to Chaves.

Luís Pinto had opened the scoring after just 5 minutes before shortly afterwards Arnold Issoko doubled the home side’s lead.

Sporting managed to pull one back just after the half-hour mark through the returning Salim Cissé.

Chaves scored a crucial 3rd goal in the 63rd minute through Hugo Santos.

After that Sporting B threw everything they could at Chaves but only managed to get one more goal, Francisco Geraldes getting Sporting’s 2nd in the 79th minute.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho, Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo (YC), Mica Pinto; Wallyson Mallmann (YC), Filipe Chaby (YC) (Francisco Geraldes, Scored, 79′), Iuri Medeiros (YC); Daniel Podence (Ousmane Dramé, 56′), Hadi Sacko (Gelson Martins 73′), Salim Cissé (Scored, 31′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Lewis Enoh

And finally some good news, Sporting’s U19 side won 3-1 away to Maribor as they took part in their first ever UEFA Youth League.

Sporting had the better of the game through out and took the lead through a penalty converted by José Postiga.

José Lima’s youngsters found it difficult to make further headway until an exciting end to the game.

José Correia doubled Sporting’s advantage on the 76th minute but that didn’t last long at all when Nik Lorbek pulled one back for the home side.

That made it a very nervy finish for Sporting but Luís Elói managed to make the game certain in stoppage time to provide an excellent start Sporting’s UEFA Youth League campaign.

SPORTING U19 XI: Vladimir Stojković; Gonçalo Araújo, Bruno Wilson, Ivanildo Fernandes, João Serrano; Bubacar Djaló (Rafael Benevides, 65′), Diogo Barbosa (YC) (Rúben Varela, 73′); Lisandro Semedo (YC) (Arilton Ebó), José Correia (YC) (Scored, 76′), Luís Elói (Scored, 90+2′); José Postiga (Scored, 30′)
Substituted Not Used: Pedro Silva, Hugo Meira, Felício Quiaque, Heriberto Tavares

Weekend Round-Up: Draws for Both Sides

It was a disappointing weekend for Sporting as both sides could only manage a draw.

Sporting came back from behind to draw at home to Belenenses but couldn’t find a winner and ended up with just 10-men.

Marco Silva was still without Cédric Soares so Ricardo Esgaio was once again starting at right-back. Otherwise it was what is becoming the usual starting eleven for Marco Silva.

A sign of how Belenenses approached the game was seen early on when English goalkeeper Matt Jones was booked for time wasting with just 23 minutes gone in the game.

Yet it was the Belém side who took the lead when Brazilian forward Deyverson headed past Rui Patrício’s reach with just under a half hour gone in the game.

The away side’s lead only lasted 7 minutes when slack square pass from Belenenses found André Carrillo in acres of space past the last defenders. The Peruvian cooly slotted home to even the scores.

Sporting found it difficult from then on to find any real chances in the game although Nani looked lively through out.

The quest to grab a winner late on in the game was hampered when Jefferson was given a second yellow card from referee Cosme Machado in stoppage time for speaking out of line.

It was a disappointing result and yet another draw for Marco Silva who will hope to get back to winning as the Champions League kicks off this week.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Ricardo Esgaio, Maurício (YC) (Fredy Montero, 80′), Naby Sarr, Jefferson (YC+RC); William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (Carlos Mané, 61′); André Carrillo (Scored, 35′), (Diego Capel, 61′) Nani (YC), Islam Slimani
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Paulo Oliveira, Oriol Rosell, João Mário

There were parallels for the Francisco Barão’s B side as they could only get a goalless draw at home to Portimonense and also ended the game with 10 men.

Barão elected to bring new signing Hadi Sacko straight into the staring eleven with Jonathan Silva also starting at left back.

It was an even game with neither side really having great chances until the 68th minute when Fabrice Fokobo was given a second yellow card by referee João Pinto.

From that point on it was the visitors pressing hard to find as goal but thanks to Luís Ribeiro Sporting managed to survive and hang on to a point.

SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Mauro Riquicho (YC), Sambinha, Tobias Figueiredo, Jonathan Silva; Fabrice Fokobo (YC+RC), Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld; Daniel Podence, Hadi Sacko (Gelson Martins, 71′), Ousmane Dramé (Lewis Enoh, 83′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, Rúben Ribeiro, Francisco Geraldes, Iuri Medeiros