Sporting News Round-Up

It’s been a good while since our last news round-up so here we are again. Where do we even start?

Transfer News:

Last time we checked Alberto Rodríguez was on his way to be yet another Sporting player at Deportivo de La Coruña. This deal in fact never was completed and in a complete turn around instead Alberto Rodríguez’s contract with the club was bought out and he was free to go. He then signed for Nuno Espírito Santo’s Rio Ave.

Luis Aguiar joined San Lorenzo on a 2-year deal after having failed to make a single appearance for the club. In fact his only appearance at all for the club was a 3-0 friendly defeat to Valencia at the Alvalade last year.

Matías Fernández completed his transfer to Fiorentina after 3 years with Sporting. Matías was an excellent player during his time at the club and we wish him the best of luck. Fiorentina paid €3,500,000 for the attacking midfielder with the possibility of further money from additional add-on clauses.

Renato Neto, who featured frequently in the second-half of the season for Sporting has been given another loan move after his previous spell with Cercle Brugge. Neto has joined Hungarian club Videoton FC until the end of the season. Videoton incidentally is where former Sporting defender Marco Caneira now plays.

It’s not all players going out though. On July 29th Racing Club in Argentina confirmed that Valentín “Titín” Viola was set to join Sporting. There had been interest from various European clubs for the forward with Benfica in particular also interested. Although Viola has not yet been unveiled as a Sporting player the official announcement is expected soon with the player already in Lisbon as we speak.

In various other transfer news: Diogo Rosado (who had been expected to sign for Genoa) now looks likely instead to join Blackburn Rovers will the deal being reported to be completed shortly. Juary Soares who was released from the club this season has signed for União de Leiria. Nuno Reis has joined Olhanense for a season-long loan deal. After spending last year at Genk, Leandro Grimi is now having a loan at Argentinian club Godoy Cruz. Amido Baldé will also be on loan with Vitória de Guimarães. Finally, Fabrice Fokobo has joined Sporting B from Njalla Quan Sport Academy. Fokobo had previous had a loan spell with Panathinaikos.

Fixture News:

Last Friday saw the draw of the Europa League qualifying stage. Sporting will face yet another Europa League trip to Denmark this time to take on AC Horsens who finished 4th in the Danish Supaliga last season as well as runners up to FC København in the Danish Cup. Full details will be found the the Results / Fixtures page.

Abel’s U-19 side also found out their opponents for this year’s NextGen Series group stages. Sporting have been draw in a group with Aston Villa, Celtic and PSV Eindhoven. The first game will be away to Aston Villa on Wednesday 15th August.

Recent Results:

Sporting 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday (22/07/12)
Goals: André Martins (11′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (69′)
Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck (Victor Golas 88′); Bruno Pereirinha (Cédric Soares 46′), Daniel Carriço (Khalid Boulahrouz 46′), Xandão (Oguchi Onyewu 46′), Emiliano Insúa (Danijel Pranjić 46′); Stijn Schaars (Adrien Silva 46′), Gelson Fernandes (YC) (Elias 46′), André Martins (Matías Fernández 60′); Jeffrén Suárez (André Carrillo 46′), Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo 81′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC) (Diego Rubio 81′)
Subs Not Used: Nuno Reis

In the Pepe Supercup mini-tournament contested in shorter games between Sporting and local clubs Atlético Clube de Portugal and Belenenses Sporting won via penalty shootout victories after two goalless draws with each team.

Sporting 3-1 Saint-Étienne (28/07/12)
Goals: André Carrillo (35′, 59′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (71′)- Bakary Sako (75′)
Sporting XI: Rui Patrício (Marcelo Boeck 46′); Cédric Soares (Bruno Pereirinha 46′), Khalid Boulahrouz (Daniel Carriço 46′ (Oguchi Onyewu 69′)), Marcos Rojo (Xandão 46′), Danijel Pranjić (Emiliano Insúa 46′); Stijn Schaars (Gelson Fernandes 46′, YC), Elias (Adrien Silva 46′), André Martins (Fabián Rinaudo 61′, YC); André Carrillo (Jeffrén Suárez 61′), Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo 77′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 77′)
Subs Not Used: Nuno Reis, Marat Izmailov

Getafe 1-0 Sporting (03/08/12)
Goals: Diego Castro (59′)
Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Bruno Pereirinha, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marco Rojo, Danijel Pranjić; Stijn Schaars (Adrien Silva 61′), Elias, André Martins (Jeffrén Suárez 61′); André Carrillo, Diego Capel (Wilson Eduardo 76′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 22′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Xandão, Fabián Rinaudo, Gelson Fernandes

Sporting 3-1 Moghreb Tétouan (04/08/12)
Goals: Daniel Carriço (42′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (66′), Mourtada Fall (72′ OG) – Moussa Traoré (55′)
Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares, Xandão, Daniel Carriço (Oguchi Onyewu 67′), Emiliano Insúa; Fabián Rinaudo (André Martins 65′), Adrien Silva, Gelson Fernandes; Jeffrén Suárez (Bruma 82′), Wilson Eduardo (Danijel Pranjić 76′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Iuri Medeiros 87′)
Subs Not Used: Rui Patrício, Macros Rojo, Stijn Schaars, Diego Rubio

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Matías Fernández and Ricky van Wolfswinkel to Be Offered New Contracts

According to the newspaper Record, Sporting are set to offer new contracts to Matías Fernandez and Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel had an excellent debut season for Sporting finishing up with 25 games in all competitions and is still only 23 years of age. Sporting intend to offer the Dutch striker, who has been linked with a large amount of other European clubs, a new contract with an increased wage and an increased termination clause. Currently van Wolfswinkel’s contract expires at the end of the 2016/2017 season and it’s unlikely that the contract will be more than a season longer but that the terms are more beneficial for the striker as a reward for his efforts.

Matías Fernández on the other hand is free to join a new club should he not sign a new contract at Sporting before January. His current deal expires at the end of next season and Sporting are keen to offer him a new contract before he can freely move away. A new deal for Matías is likely to come about just before the start of the upcoming season.

Match Report: SPORTING 5-0 Vitória de Guimarães

A superb Sporting performance gave the Lions a 5-0 win at home to Vitória de Guimarães last night that will serve as a springboard for Thursday’s forthcoming match against Manchester City.

With that game in mind Ricardo Sá Pinto made changes to his squad leaving out Daniel Carriço and Emiliano Insúa with Evaldo Fabiano and Elias taking their place in midfield.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel opened the scoring after just 20 minutes with Sporting firmly on top after Matías Fernández fed the Dutchman. It was van Wolfswinkel’s first goal in open play in 2012 and the look of relief on the striker’s face was evident.

Sporting went into half-time one goal to the good and firmly on top of the game in what a half in which they dominated possession and should have had a larger lead going into the interval.

It took just 5 minutes for Sporting to grab a second after the interval when a poor clearance from Bruno Teles fell to the feet of Matías Fernández, the Chilean who has been in a rich run of form lately, slotted home to double Sporting’s advantage. Guimarães offered little going forward and the goal looked like it would kill the game off even with 40 minutes left to play.

Good play from Nuno Assis dispossessing Elias in his own half resulted in an excellent chance for Edgar to get the visiting side back into the game but Rui Patrício did well to save.

Nuno Assis’ next contribution was not so impressive as he foolishly tripped Ricky van Wolfswinkel in the penalty area. Marat Izmailov was the man to step up and smashed the ball straight down the centre to put Sporting 3-0 up.

Another highlight for Sporting was the excellent return for Jeffrén Suárez. The former Barcelona man came on in the 79th minute in place of Marat Izmailov and impressed everyone by scoring a late brace.

The first was a superb strike on the outside of the area after Jeffrén chested down from a corner to the outside of the box. The second a clever run and finish just under goalkeeper Nilson to make the score 5-0. It was a striking cameo and a reminder to Sporting fans just what a talent they signed back in summer.

The performance is perhaps the best of 2012 (excluding perhaps last week’s win over Manchester City) and will give Sá Pinto and the team confidence for their upcoming trip to Manchester for the second leg on Thursday.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga, Xandão, Evaldo Fabiano; Stijn Schaars, Elias, Matías Fernández (YC) (André Martins 69′); Marat Izmailov (Jeffrén Suárez 79′), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Sebastián Ribas 83′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Bruno Pereirinha, Daniel Carriço, André Santos

Sporting Players Called up for International Duty

Yes, it’s almost international break time yet again and here’s a list of the Sporting players who will be linking up with their national team shortly.

Brazil: Elias
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez and André Carrillo
Spain U-23: Diego Capel

Alberto Rodríguez may be a doubt for his games as he still recovers from the knock he picked up last week.

Let’s hope they manage to avoid any injuries.

Match Report: SPORTING 1-0 Legia Warszawa (3-2 agg.)

Sporting qualified to the Last 16 of the UEFA Europa League with a 1-0 win on the night over Legia Warszawa and 3-2 on aggregate due to Matías Fernández’s late freekick.

Ricardo Sá Pinto brought in Alberto Rodríguez in the place of the injured Oguchi Onyewu, Daniel Carriço took Fabián Rinaudo’s role and Matías Fernández replaced the cup-tied Elias.

The first half was an even contest devoid of much action. Legia failed to create chances against the Sporting defence and the game because a midfield battle. The first half finished with little of note to talk about and with chances in the game few and far between.

The second half had some more action, albeit mostly from Russian referee Vladislav Bezborodov, who handed out 8 yellow cards in that second period with 11 in the game in total. Most of those going to the tough-tackling away side.

Sporting though did get their goal after 83 minutes when Matías Fernández’s freekick went past everyone and into Dušan Kuciak’s goal.

It wasn’t the most exciting game but Sporting progress to face Manchester City (who knocked out Porto) in the next round with games to be played on the 8th and 15th March.

There will be concern for Sporting though, the three substitutions made by Ricardo Sá Pinto were all forced changed due to injury. Marat Izmailov and André Carrillo’s does not look to serious but Alberto Rodríguez will go under further assessment before it can be determined when he will return.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Ânderson Polga, Alberto Rodríguez (Xandão 71′), Emiliano Insúa; Daniel Carriço (YC), Stijn Schaars (YC), Matías Fernández; Marat Izmailov (Bruno Pereirinha 77′), André Carrillo (YC) (Diego Capel 70′, YC), Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Renato Neto, André Santos, Sebastián Ribas

Rio Ave vs. SPORTING Preview

Sporting return after the Winter break into Taça da Liga action in what will be a packed two months in which Sporting will be playing fourteen matches.

The squad that will travel to face Rio Ave has some notable inclusions: Matías Fernández and Marat Izmailov are included after their respective injuries. Izmailov in particular has done well to recover this quickly after his surgery. New squad members Renato Neto (#31) and Xandão (#13) will not be a part of the squad though. Daniel Carriço misses out after he was injured in the Marítimo match and faces a couple of weeks out – leaving Sporting somewhat light defensively.

Sporting’s full squad traveling to face Rio Ave is:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, João Pereira, Emiliano Insúa
Midfielders: Elias, Marat Izmailov, Matías Fernández, Stijn Schaars, Bruno Pereirinha, André Santos, André Martins, André Carrillo, Diego Capel
Forwards: Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valeri Bojinov

The two clubs met earlier this season when Sporting ran out 2-3 winners in what was an entertaining match. Stijn Schaars and Ricky van Wolfswinkel had put Sporting ahead by two goals after just three minutes but Rio Ave pulled it back. It took Oguchi Onyewu’s header to secure the win for Sporting that night. The two have also met in the Taça da Liga before back in 2009 when Simon Vukčević’s goal was enough for Sporting in a 1-0 win that night.

With the fixtures in the League and the Taça de Portugal likely to be considered by Domingos Paciência as more important it wouldn’t be surprising to see him pick a slightly more under strength side. The game big against Porto afterwards could be some distraction so this could be the perfect time for giving fringe players a run out and giving minutes back to those returning from injuries.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Marcelo Boeck

João Pereira – Ânderson Polga – Oguchi Onyewu – Emiliano Insúa

André Santos – Stijn Schaars – Elias

André Carrillo – Valeri Bojinov – Diego Capel

Match Report: Benfica 1-0 SPORTING

Sporting were defeated 1-0 in the Lisbon derby by rivals Benfica, who finished the match with ten men. Javi García’s header was enough to give Jorge Jesus’ side all 3 points in a match in which Óscar Cardozo was sent off.

Domingos Paciência made one change from the team that defeated Braga 2-0 in the Taça de Portugal last week with Daniel Carriço taken the defensive midfield position of André Santos. Jorge Jesus selected Óscar Cardozo in front of Rodrigo and Jardel in the injured Luisão’s place.

Sporting started off the brighter of the two teams and it was Ricky van Wolfswinkel who had the game’s first chance when his header from a Diego Capel cross went over.

Nicolas Gaitán went close in the 12th minute for Benfica. His long range shot smashing the inside of Rui Patrício’s post. Sporting were on the attack soon after as the even game become more stretched, this time Stijn Schaars firing his shot just wide of Artur’s right hand post.

There was a worry for Sporting mid-way through the first half when Matías Fernández picked up what looked like a hamstring injury and had to be replaced. The lively André Carrillo came on for the Chilean who, with Jeffrén and Izmailov both injured, would be missed.

Benfica started to get into the game more after that change and grabbed the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute. Pablo Aimar’s corner found Javi García who headed well past Patrício to give Benfica the lead.

After the break Óscar Cardozo was denied a goal by Rui Patrício after the Paraguayan did well to get the ball past two Sporting defenders.

Sporting though perhaps had the best chance of the half in the 59th minute when André Carrillo did well to find space to put in a cross for Elias. Elias was free in the box but his header was stopped by a superb save from Artur.

The game’s biggest controversy happened just four minutes later when Óscar Cardozo received his second yellow card for dissent and was sent off leaving Benfica a man down. Cardozo had been booked just after the start of the second half along side Ricky van Wolfswinkel as they tussled in the build up to a freekick.

The sending off prompted a dramatic change in what had been an end to end encounter up to that stage. Benfica dropped deep wary of their numerical disadvantage.

Sporting almost managed to take advantage of it soon after when Ricky van Wolfswinkel managed to get onto the end of a loose ball and set up Elias, but the Brazilian shot wide in what was a guilt-edged chance.

Benfica though were set up well defensively and Sporting found it hard to break them down. Near the end of the game both Rodrigo and Elias had superb chances but both failed to convert leaving Benfica with the points and Sporting knowing next time out they must take their chances.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa (Valeri Bojinov 80′); Daniel Carriço (YC) (André Santos 66′, YC), Stijn Schaars (YC), Elias (YC); Matías Fernández (André Carrillo 27′, YC), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Evaldo Fabiano, Santiago Arias, Diego Rubio

Match Report: SPORTING 3-1 União de Leiria

Sporting brought themselves within a point of Porto and Benfica after an edgy 3-1 over União de Leiria thanks to a brace from Matías Fernández and a Ricky van Wolfswinkel penalty.

A late injury to Alberto Rodríguez meant that Domingos Paciência was forced to field 18-year old Tiago Ilori for his full competitive debut.

Sporting took the lead after just eight minutes after Matías Fernández showed some excellent footwork in the box and drilled a shot under the legs of Eduardo Gottardi to open the scoring. The Chilean midfielder then dedicated his goal to the recently injured Fabián Rinaudo.

Sporting continued to put on the pressure after the goal with Evaldo and Diego Capel linking up well on the left hand side but the Brazilian left-back unable to convert. Matías Fernández went close again after twenty minutes with a well whipped in freekick that went just wide of Gottardi’s left-hand post.

A mistake in defence from the young Tiago Ilori meant that Djaniny went through on goal and his clever finish past Rui Patrício put Leiria back on level terms.

Elias went close almost immediately after U.D. Leiria pulled one back and Sporting tried to regain the lead. Matías Fernández went close yet against just before the half-time break and the two sides went in level.

After half-time André Carrillo came on to replace Bruno Pereirinha to add a more attacking edge to Sporting.

It took only five minutes before Matías Fernández scored again. Good play from Elias on the left squared the ball across the 6-yard box and Matígol was there to finish.

Domingos Paciência brought on André Santos in the place of Diego Capel to change the team into a more defensive change at the sacrifice of Sporting’s attacking impetus.

The change in tactics meant União de Leiria had a chance to get back into the game and Djaniny went close to scoring again but was just inches away from connecting to draw Leiria level.

In response Paciência brought on Santiago Arias for his debut in the place of the outstanding Matías Fernández to try and sure the defence up.

Still Sporting struggled to retain possession but as time began to ran out were awarded a penalty after Ivo Pinto hand-balled in the area and was sent off by referee Manuel Mota. Although the defender did handball it certainly wasn’t intentional so a red card was perhaps a harsh decision.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who had failed to get much into the game without proper service, took the penalty and once again converted emphatically to score his 7th league goal of the season and ensure the Sporting win.

A win over Benfica in the next league game would mean Sporting could leapfrog them to take 2nd place.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Daniel Carriço, Tiago Ilori (YC), Evaldo Fabiano; Stijn Schaars (YC), Elias, Matías Fernández (Scored 8′, 50′) (Santiago Arias 80′); Bruno Pereirinha (André Carrillo 46′), Diego Capel (André Santos 63′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 90+3′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, André Martins, Valeri Bojinov, Diego Rubio

Match Report: SPORTING 2-0 FC Vaslui

Sporting secured qualification into the knock-out rounds with a comfortable 2-0 victory against a feisty FC Vaslui sides thanks to goals from Evaldo Fabiano and Matías Fernández.

The first half started with Sporting having the most of possession as Vaslui did their best to interrupt Sporting’s attacks whether legally or, mostly, illegally. Former Sporting player Gladstone did well to head away an early Matías Fernández strike that looked dangerous as Sporting held the ball well early on.

Vaslui’s tactics made it hard for Sporting to break the opposition down, the first real chance of the half came after a half hour from Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who’s clever shot, after an Evaldo cross, went just over the bar.

It seemed FC Vaslui were doing well with Viorel Hizo’s tactics until 36 minutes in when a moment of madness by former Portuguese Liga attacker Wesley head butted João Pereira. The Brazilian felt he was fouled by João Pereira in the area and immediately chased after the Portugal right back before head butting him and then going down himself. The French referee though waited patiently for the player to return to his feet before showing the red card.

It didn’t take too long for Sporting to make Vaslui pay. Matías Fernández jinked past defenders in the Vaslui box brilliantly before squaring a pass to allow Evaldo to tap in from close range to put the home side 1-0 up just minutes before half-time.

The second half saw Sporting on top straight away with the excellent Diego Capel threatening the Vaslui defence once more. Capel may be an incredibly one footed player but he’s seemed to master that one foot so well he doesn’t really need to use his right foot.

The game took the complexion of a training match with the inferior Vaslui numbers meaning Sporting had almost all of the possession and spent most of the game in Vaslui’s half of the pitch. Matías Fernández and Diego Capel were the players most threatening as Sporting went forward, Matías Fernández’s free-kick in particular forced a great save out of Claudiu Puia.

Domingos Paciência recognised that Sporting needed to score again to secure the result and sent on the more attacking minded André Carrillo for Bruno Pereirinha.

It was only a minute after the change when Vaslui had their best chance of the match albeit offside. Yero Bello’s header forced Rui Patrício to tip the ball onto the post but the lines man soon raised his flag for offside. It was a warning for Sporting that their 1-0 lead was not entirely secure.

The game was effectively finished as a contest by an excellent counter-attack in which Diego Capel took ran forward a massive distance with the ball before passing to André Carrillo who then found Matías Fernández after nut megging a defender and the Chilean finished with grace to cap a superb goal.

Sporting’s second goal meant they could now afford to rest players for the forthcoming league match against Gil Vicente with Valeri Bojinov and André Martins replacing Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Diego Capel. André Martins making his senior competitive debut for the side in comfortable circumstances.

Sporting had one final great chance before the end of the match, Stijn Schaars had a powerful long range effort that shook the crossbar.

In all it was a relatively easy 3 points for Sporting who, due Zurich’s 1-1 draw with Lazio, are guaranteed qualification to the Europa League knockout stages becoming the first team to do so this season.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício, João Pereira, Daniel Carriço, Ânderson Polga, Evaldo Fabiano (Scored 43′); Fabián Rinaudo (YC), Stijn Schaars, Matías Fernández (Scored 70′); Bruno Pereirinha (André Carrillo 61′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Valeri Bojinov 73′), Diego Capel (André Martins 78′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Tiago Ilori, André Santos, Diego Rubio

Sporting Players Called for International Duty

A whole host of Sporting players have been called up for international duty by their respective clubs.

The international week will take place this week until Sporting return to action in the Taça de Portugal to take on Famalicão on the 15th October.

Below is the full list of Sporting players who will be on international duty this week;

Argentina: Emiliano Insúa and Fabián Rinaudo
Brazil: Elias
Bulgaria: Valeri Bojinov
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Portugal U21: André Martins, Luís Ribeiro, Cédric Soares, Pedro Mendes and Wilson Eduardo
USA: Oguchi Onyewu