Domingos Paciência Fired. Ricardo Sá Pinto In.

After defeat to Marítimo last weekend Domingos Paciência has been fired from Sporting with Ricardo Sá Pinto to temporarily takeover.

Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD would like to make the following statement:

The Administration of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD, has decided to terminate its contract with coach Domingos Paciência, for the reason that elimination from the group stages of the Portuguese Cup and 5th position in the current Liga Zon/Sagres campaign does not correspond with the Administration’s objectives for the first season of its mandate.

Furthermore, we would like to note that we have reached an agreement with coach Domingos Paciência, who we would like to thank for his professional manner and dedication towards Sporting Clube de Portugal. We wish him all the best in his future career.

The Administration of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD has decided that Ricardo Sá Pinto will assume immediate responsibility for the role of first team coach, with a contract valid until June 2013.

The Administration of Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol, SAD

Although the club was indeed eliminated from the Taça da Liga and are under-performing in the league, Domingos did take his team to a Taça de Portugal final.

Recent results though were certainly not brilliant as of late, since 2012 Sporting have won just 2 of 10 games. It’s along time since the 10-game winning run of September and October.

Ricardo Sá Pinto will be in charge for his first game when Sporting take on Legia Warszawa in Poland on Thursday.

Same old, same old at Sporting.

Match Report: Braga 2-1 SPORTING

A poor Sporting performance meant that the Lions drop down to 4th place after losing to 2-1 away to Braga.

André Carrillo gave Sporting some hope after Hélder Barbosa and Lima put Domingos Paciência’s former employers two goals ahead but Sporting could not come back as they did against Nacional on Wednesday.

Domingos handed Sebastián Ribas a debut as well as playing Emiliano Insúa as a winger with Evaldo at left-back. Alberto Rodríguez also made a return to face his former club.

Braga had a great chance just minutes after the start of the game when Hugo Viana found room to strike well. His shot though ended up being blocked by his own player, Lima, before being cleared by Sporting.

It was the home side who had the best of the first time and Mossoró’s shot midway through the first half forced Rui Patrício into a good save where as Sporting found it hard to break Braga down.

The second half had much more goalmouth action than the first though. Within just a few minutes Matías Fernández did very well to find himself in room in the box. His shot though only hit the post.

Braga took the lead in the 51st minute when Lima found space on the right wing. His low cross somehow found it’s way through the Sporting defence and into the path of Hélder Barbosa who slotted home from close range.

Domingos soon made a chance bringing on the more attacking André Carrillo for Emiliano Insúa.

Braga got the second goal when Alberto Rodríguez gave the ball away inside the Braga half and Lima was found in space. He used his pace to race ahead of João Pereira and cooly slotted the ball past Rui Patrício.

Sporting had to make changes again and Sebastián Ribas’ debut was over when he was replaced by Valeri Bojinov. After 72 minutes André Martins also came on in place of Elias.

André Carrillo did manage to get his 2nd ever Sporting goal when he pounced in the area after Quim dropped a corner. The Peruvian had an easy finish to make at the goalkeeper’s expense and gave Sporting some hope.

Braga though stayed strong and kept their defensive shape. Indeed, they could have scored again in stoppage time when Evaldo’s ball back to Rui Patrício was viewed by the referee as a back pass from 6-yards out. The resulting freekick luckily hit João Pereira before and was deflected out.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Oguchi Onyewu, Alberto Rodríguez (YC), Evaldo Fabiano; Stijn Schaars, Elias (YC, André Martins 72′), Matías Fernández; Emiliano Insúa (YC, André Carrillo 54′), Diego Capel, Sebastián Ribas (Valeri Bojinov 68′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ânderson Polga, Daniel Carriço, Bruno Pereirinha

Match Report: SPORTING 2-0 Braga

Sporting progressed into the last sixteen of the Taça de Portugal with a comfortable win over SC Braga, with Diego Capel and, rather fortuitously, Emiliano Insúa providing the goals.

It was a big night in particular for coach Domingos Paciência as he faced the side he sent to the Europa League final last year.

With the international break ensuring some of Sporting’s players who were unavailable for the 3-1 win of União de Leiria returned match fit it meant Domingos chose a centre-back partnership of Ânderson Polga and Oguchi Onyewu.

The game started out fairly evenly with both sides making chances but the first goal came after fifteen minutes when Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s ball found Diego Capel on the bar side of the box. He jinked back into the box and rounded goalkeeper Tommaso Berni to slot the ball home into an empty net.

Sporting’s second came as a result of a freekick after Ewerton was adjudged to have fouled Ricky van Wolfswinkel out side the box. The resulting freekick from Matías Fernández was parried out by goalkeeper Berni but, unlucky for Braga, the ball bounced straight onto the chest of Emiliano Insúa and rebounded in to the net.

Braga were still making a game of it and provided Sporting’s defence a tough time, in particular Braga coach Leonardo Jardim may feel aggrieved that referee Jorge Sousa failed to give a penalty for Polga’s foul on the dangerous Alan.

The game though stayed 2-0 up until half-time with a scoreline that perhaps a tad harsh on Braga for their first half efforts.

Just two minutes after the restart and Braga were down to ten men. Elias was sent through on goal and Uwa Elderson as the last defender took the Brazilian midfielder out to give Jorge Sousa the easiest decision of the night to make.

The sending off meant Sporting were now able to control more possession and play the game at their own pace whilst trying to add further goals. Oguchi Onyewu came close to converting a Stijn Schaars freekick but narrowly missed making contact with the ball.

Braga’s best chance of the second half came through substitute Paulo César whose powerful header hit the inside of Rui Patrício’s post just seconds after he came onto the pitch.

Later it was the turn of André Carrillo to be a substitute to hit the woodwork. The Peruvian’s superbly struck hit from outside the area cannoned back off Berni’s bar. Capel collected the ball but his cross in front of the face of goal failed to be converted by another Sporting player.

In the end it turned out to be a more comfortable evening than perhaps Sporting had imagine. The draw on for the next round of the Taça de Portugal will be decided on Tuesday with Sporting and Benfica now considered favourites after Porto’s shock exit to Académica last night.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga (YC), Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa (Scored 21′, YC) (Evaldo Fabiano 75′); André Santos (YC) (Daniel Carriço 66′), Stijn Schaars, Elias; Matías Fernández (André Carrillo 66′), Diego Capel (Scored 14′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Santiago Arias André Martins, Valeri Bojinov

SPORTING vs. União de Leiria Preview

Sporting look to bounce back from the 1-0 defeat in Romania as they host União de Leiria at the Alvalade.

Manuel Cajuda’s Leiria side currently sit in 11th place having just beaten Vitória Setúbal at home having bounced backs from three defeats in the row. Leiria have won only 1 of their last 10 away matches in the league.

The last time to two teams faced off in Lisbon the game finished in a goalless draw back in March. Sporting have not won at home to Leiria since Liédson and Nani scored in a 2-0 win in a time when Domingos Paciência was the U.D. Leiria manager back in October of 2006.

Os Lis feature three players who have had past experience at Sporting. Rúben Brígido, André Almeida and Marco Soares all spent spells with Sporting in their youth careers.

Sporting’s ten-game winning run has ended with the defeat to Vaslui but in the league the Verde e Brancos have won six games in a row.

Domingos Paciência has some selection issues to contend with. The injury to Fabián Rinaudo means that André Santos, who replaced him in Thursday’s match, is likely to start in his place. Jeffrén Suárez, Ânderson Polga and Emiliano Insúa all missed the trip to Romania but could return to Leiria.

This is the last Sporting game before the international break and it will be important for Sporting to bounce back and regain momentum before the break with a Taça de Portugal game against Braga and the massive game against Benfica after the break.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Oguchi Onyewu – Emiliano Insúa

André Santos – Stijn Schaars

André Carrillo – Elias – Diego Capel

Ricky van Wolfswinkel

Match Report: FC Vaslui 1-0 SPORTING

Sporting failed to make it a record consecutive five European wins in a row after they lost 1-0 away to FC Vaslui with Denis Zmeu getting the goal.

It was a much changed starting XI chosen by Domingos Paciência. Rui Patrício sat the game out with João Pereira and Ricky van Wolfswinkel sitting on the bench.

Shortly after the game began there was bad news as Fabián Rinaudo injured his left ankle during sliding to intercept a pass. He was replaced by André Santos and Rinaudo’s injury will be a worry to Sporting.

It was FC Vaslui who had the best of the opening stages of the game. Adaílton having the pick of the chances when his close range header went just over Marcelo Boeck’s crossbar.

Vaslui grabbed the game’s goal after a half hour after Sporting defended a corner poorly – the ball bouncing to Denis Zmeu who’s shot deflected off of André Santos to give the Romanian side the lead much to the delight of their coach Viorel Hiz.

Sporting’s best chance of the game came through Valeri Bojinov who failed to convert a chance just before half-time. Vaslui though had another chance just before the break with Yero Bello inches away from getting on to the end of a cross that would surely have resulted in a goal.

After the second half Domingos Paciência showed he wanted to get a goal as he brought on Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the place of Valeri Bojinov.

It was Vaslui who had the better of the early exchanges though. Marcelo Boeck did well to save a Bello shot and Adaílton failed to convert the rebound.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel had Sporting’s best chance of the game. Some good play from Matías Fernández played him in but he failed to convert the pass into a goal.

Just before the end of the game Diego Rubio was booked for a dive in the area but replays showed that perhaps Icelandic referee Kristinn Jakobsson made the wrong decision.

The defeat ends a run of ten straight wins compiled over all of September and October but with the team already qualified for the knock-out stages of the Europa League meaning the defeat doesn’t have too much meaning. Sporting though do need two more points to ensure they top the group stages with the visit of Zurich to come next before a tough trip to Rome to fact Lazio.

SPORTING XI: Marcelo Boeck; Bruno Pereirinha, Daniel Carriço, Alberto Rodríguez, Evaldo Fabiano; Fabián Rinaudo (André Santos 12′), Stijn Schaars, Matías Fernández (Diego Rubio 65′, YC); André Carrillo (YC), Diego Capel, Valeri Bojinov (Ricky van Wolfswinkel 46′)
Subs Not Used: Tiago Ferreira, João Pereira, Oguchi Onyewu, André Martins

Taça de Portugal Draw: Braga (Home)

Sporting Clube de Portugal’s Taça de Portugal draw means Sporting will have home advantage of Domingos Paciência’s old previous club Braga. Alberto Rodríguez will also be facing the club he joined Sporting from back in the summer.

The draw tentatively puts the fixture for Friday 18th November a week before the trip to the Luz to face Benfica. The fixtures could change to make the game on either Saturday 19th or Sunday 20th, to keep up to date follow the Fixtures page.

The last time the two faced off in the Taça de Portugal was back in 1997, Braga winning 3-1 in extra time with Bruno Marioni scoring the goal for Sporting.

Elsewhere Porto travel to Académica and Benfica will travel to Naval.

Report: Paços de Ferreira 2-3 SPORTING

Sporting Clube de Portugal got their first 3 points of the league season with, in the circumstances, a highly impressive away against Paços de Ferreira.

Sporting could not have made it harder for themselves, after 75 minutes Paços de Ferreira were 2-0 against Sporting and must have thought that they would at least come away with some points against the misfiring Leões side.

For the starting XI, coach Domingos Paciência made some changes to the starting eleven. Of course, Yannick Djaló and Hélder Postiga have both moved on to other clubs and so they both had to be replaced (previously they had started every match under Paciência). In the place of Yannick was the returning Bruno Pereirinha and in the place of Postiga was a first start of Valeri Bojinov.

Another interesting selection in the starting XI was the inclusion of Oguchi Onyweu, making his Primeira Liga debut, in place of Ânderson Polga. Emiliano Insúa in the place of Evaldo Fabiano. Elias also made his first appearance for Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Paços took the lead within the first 5 minutes with Michel opening the scoring, striking from the result of an indirect freekick. It is the kind of goal that Sporting have become far too used to conceding recently.

Stijn Schaars had the closest chance of the first half with his freekick curling on to the bar with the Paços goalkeeper Cássio well beaten.

Going into half-time it felt like a familiar scenario for any Sportinguistas watching. For the most part Sporting had the better of the play but still found themselves a goal behind with only themselves to blame.

In the 55th minute the game looked dead and buried for Sporting as Michel’s header made it 2-0 to Paços de Ferreira on the night.

Sporting though refused to capitulate and on the 71st minute Nuno Santos picked up his second yellow on the night after a foul on Diego Rubio, meaning Paços were down to ten men.

Sporting were quick to take advantage and found their way back into the match on the 76th minute, with Marat Izmailov’s deflected shot sneaking its way into the net. It was a fortunate break for Sporting but one that they took the utmost advantage of.

Just 3 minutes later, debutant Elias made it 2-2 and only 5 minutes after that Ricky van Wolfswinkel timely got his first Sporting goal to make it 2-3 and to eventually give Sporting the 3 points on the night.

It was a great win for Sporting to stop Paços de Ferreira from becoming too much of a bogey team and ensured Domingos Paciência and Sporting picked up their first league win of the season thus far.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Alberto Rodríguez, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa (YC); Fabián Rinaudo, Stijn Schaars (Marat Izmailov 46′, Scored 76′); Bruno Pereirinha (Diego Rubio 55′), Elias (Scored 79′), Diego Capel; Valeri Bojinov (Ricky van Wolfswinkel 64′, Scored 84′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ânderson Polga, Evaldo Fabiano, André Santos

Paços de Ferreira vs. SPORTING Preview

Sporting Clube de Portugal face a tough task away to Paços de Ferreira on Saturday evening to try and gain a first win in the league this season.

Paços have been a bogey team for Sporting in recent times managing to beat the Leões both home and away in the league last year. Indeed, Sporting’s last victory over Os Pacenses was back on the 13th September 2009 in which Liédson scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory. To make matters worse Sporting have failed to beat Paços away from Lisbon since a 0-1 victory on the 4th May 2008, with Yannick Djaló scoring on the day.

With FC Porto already 7 points clear over Sporting after only 3 matches played and 5 points behind Benfica. Although a win is not essential so early on in the season it’s still imperative that Sporting do not fall any further behind.

Jeffrén and Luis Aguiar will miss out on Saturday’s match, although the impressive Jeffrén  is not too far away from a return. Matías Fernández does not travel with the squad although he is not too far away from fitness, whereas Bruno Pereirinha is does return to the side.

Perhaps the biggest news of Domingos Paciência’s squad that will travel to face Paços is the absence of captain Daniel Carriço meaning that the returning Alberto Rodríguez is likely to once again partner Ânderson Polga at the centre of defence with Oguchi Onyweu likely to be on the bench as back up.

New signings Emiliano Insúa and Elias could both make debuts. The international break will have helped Insúa settle in to his new club where as Elias was away on international duty with Brazil. Insúa in particular will be hopeful of a start after the poor early form of Evaldo Fabiano. Elias may have to settle for a place on the bench before he properly beds into life at Sporting.

With the departures of Yannick Djaló and Hélder Postiga there are two positions on the team now free that had previously been occupied in every game so far for Sporting. Upfront Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valeri Bojinov and Diego Rubio will all fight out for the striking position. Marat Izmailov looks set to take up Yannick Djaló’s former position on the right hand side after his impressive early season form that has seen him find the net twice so far this season.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Alberto Rodríguez – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa

Fabián Rinaudo – André Santos

Marat Izmailov – Stijn Schaars – Diego Capel

Diego Rubio

Report: SPORTING 2-3 Marítimo

Domingos Paciência suffered his first competitive defeat at home to Marítimo. Marítimo exploited Sporting’s weakness in set piece defending two secure a stoppage win.

Sporting started the match with the same starting eleven that won 2-1 over Nordsjælland and the match started in a similar with Sporting straight away in control.

Yannick Djaló forcing Peçanha into a good stop in the 9th minute was Sporting’s first real chance but there was also early warning signs about Sporting’s frailty to defend from set pieces.

17 minutes into the match and Marítimo had their first real chance on goal with Olberdam’s header forcing a superb save out of Rui Patrício. Sporting’s inability to defend corners would have a massive impact later on in the match.

There was though a massive decision that went against Sporting. Evaldo Fabiano, who scored in the last game, had the ball in the back of the Marítimo net after Peçanha let loose a Stijn Schaars freekick in to the Brazilians path. The assistant referee flagged for offside but replays showed that Evaldo was definitely onside at the time of Schaar’s freekick. The growing feud between the club and the FPF and the referees may well end even more sour and a farce like before the Beira-Mar game may not be far off.

Not long after that though Sporting had the ball in the net again and this time there was no way it could be ruled out. Marat Izmailov got his second goal of the season with a great strike from outside the area that left Peçanha helpless.

Not long after half-time Marítimo had gone from 1-0 down to 2-1 up. The first a great header by Rafael Miranda from a corner only moments after Robson forced a great Patrício save from another set piece.

The second was a piece of great play from Sami. Who failed to be closed down and was allowed a to shoot from distance, the shot was powerful and although Patrício got a touch, he was unable to do anything about it.

The sudden reversal of the score immediately forced Domingos Paciência to make some changes. Diego Capel and Yannick Djaló were replaced by the returning Jeffrén Suárez and Valeri Bojinov. Paciência made a final change ten minutes later bringing on Ricky van Wolfswinkel for Hélder Postiga.

Jeffrén grabbed an equaliser as he smashed in a freekick but injured himself in the process. Jeffrén has been one of the best performers this season and hopefully his injury will not be too serious.

The injury to Jeffrén meant Sporting now had to finish the game down to ten men and for the most part a draw seemed likely until the 91st minute. Once again another corner came in and this time Baba, the man who may well be set to join Celtic shortly, was the man to grab the goal.

The game finished with boos from the Sportinguistas in the Alvalade and now the team will have to wait until after the international break to grab the team’s first league win of the season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Daniel Carriço, Ânderson Polga (YC), Evaldo Fabiano; André Santos (YC), Stijn Schaars (YC); Yannick Djaló (Valeri Bojinov 54′), Marat Izmailov (Scored 37′, YC), Diego Capel (Jeffrén Suárez 54′, Scored 75′); Hélder Postiga (Ricky van Wolfswinkel 64′).
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Oguchi Onyewu, André Carrillo, Fabián Rinaudo

SPORTING vs. Nordsjælland Preview

After failing to win all 3 of the his first competitive games as Sporting manager, Domingos Paciência will know that this is his most high pressured match yet. It seems silly to be mentioning pressure so early in a manager’s career but the last two Sporting performances were incredibly toothless in attack and not easy on the eye. Being eliminated from the Europa League so soon against a team like Nordsjælland would also be a huge shock and a massive cause for concern.

Sporting are still favourites to qualify of course based on the strengths of the two squads although there will be a few absentees. Alberto Rodríguez picked up an injury in the 0-0 draw away to Beira-Mar last time out and is out for this match, though injury though is not as bad as it was first feared. Matías Fernández, Luis Aguiar, Bruno Pereirinha and Jeffrén Suárez are also all unavailable.

This means that youngster André Martins is into the Sporting squad for the match. Tiago Ilori also trained with the first team squad this week and he could feature at some stage.

Valeri Bojinov is also much closer to playing again and could be on the bench, and perhaps possibly make his competitive debut.

Carrying a goalless draw from the away leg into the home tie means a home win will put Sporting through but a score draw could spell disaster as Sporting would be eliminated on away goals.

In the absence of Alberto Rodríguez, this should mean that Daniel Carriço will make his first start of the season to partner Ânderson Polga in the central defensive shots.

Although the defence really is not the issue at the moment for Sporting, with only 1 goal in the first 3 games after a pre-season full of goals and with tonight’s incentive, scoring is a must. Paciência faces a few tricky calls on who to play up front either Hélder Postiga, Ricky van Wolfswinkel or both as the out and out striker. Diego Rubio and possibly Valeri Bojinov could provide further attacking options.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Rui Patrício

João Pereira – Daniel Carriço – Ânderson Polga – Evaldo Fabiano

Fabián Rinaudo

Marat Izmailov – Stijn Schaars – Diego Capel

Ricky van Wolfswinkel – Hélder Postiga