It was a busy weekend for Sporting fans with the first team finally returning to action, albeit in disappointing circumstances.
Sporting we’re 1-0 up until the 90th minute before Rafael Lopes equalised for Académica. Sporting were not helped by William Carvalho who was sent off midway through the second half.
Marco Silva’s line-up was not far away from what would be considered Sporting’s “strongest” XI albeit with Naby Sarr making his debut replacing the suspended Macros Rojo. Fredy Montero also started ahead of the suspended Islam Slimani.
Sporting started off well and found their goal in the 15th minute when Jefferson floated in a fantastic cross that found the head of André Carrillo. The Peruvian winger headed down onto the post and into the net.
There were concerns for Sporting near the end of the half when Cédric Soares took a knock. The right-back managed to play on until half-time but was then replaced by another debutant, Oriol Rosell playing out of position at right-back. Marco Silva did have Ricardo Esgaio in his squad for the trip to Coimbra but not on the substitutes bench.
Sporting looked fairly comfortable until the 66th minute when William Carvalho received his second yellow card. The midfielder had looked out of sorts through out most of the game with an alarming amount of his passes going astray.
Marco Silva gave a debut to Paulo Oliveira not long after to try and sure up Sporting’s defence but they could only hold out until the 90th minute when Rafael Lopes struck well to earn Académica a point.
SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares (Oriol Rosell, 45′), Maurício, Naby Sarr, Jefferson; William Carvalho (YC, RC), Adrien Silva, André Martins (Paulo Oliveira, 72′); André Carrillo, Héldon Ramos (Diego Capel, 62′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, João Mário, Carlos Mané, Junya Tanaka
Sporting B however faired better with their game as they won 3-1 at home to Santa Clara.
Francisco Barão was without Rúben Semedo who was suspended for an altercation with Lewis Enoh last week.
It was the Cameroonian Enoh who opened the scoring when he finished a cross from Ricardo Esgaio.
Sporting were caught out for Santa Clara’s equaliser as a short corner found the defence flat-footed only for Materazzi to find himself in acres of space to make it 1-1 at half-time.
The B team improved greatly after the break and looked far more threatening than they did during the first half. Despite that though they found it difficult to break through the Santa Clara defence.
It looked like the B team were set to copy the first team’s scoreline until just 5 minutes before the end when Tobias Figueiredo headed home. The lead was doubled just minutes later this time by substitute Filipe Chaby.
SPORTING B XI: Luís Ribeiro; Ricardo Esgaio, Sambinha (YC), Tobias Figueiredo (Scored, 85′), Mica Pinto; Fabrice Fokobo (Mauro Riquicho, 59′), Wallyson Mallmann, Ryan Gauld (Filipe Chaby, 83′, Scored, 90+3′); Daniel Podence (Iuri Medeiros, 62′, YC), Ousmane Dramé, Lewis Enoh (Scored, 18′)
Substitutes Not Used: Guilherme Oliveira, Domingos Duarte, João Palhinha, Jorge Santos
Marcos Rojo appeared on Sporting TV and apologised for his recent conduct that led to his suspension. The Argentine defender failed to turn up to training leading to a huge bust up between the club and Doyen Sports.
Rojo said “I’m sorry for what happened because I feel that I was unprofessional. Now I will try to correct the situation.”
The defender also denied a rumoured physical confrontation between himself and Bruno de Carvalho.
“Tomorrow I return to work with the squad, with my companions, and this is the most important and what we really like to do.”
Rojo did not rule out an eventual transfer away but stated he would like such a deal to be beneficial for both himself and the club. “But let me make it clear that I am very happy at the club, I love the way they treat me.”