Sporting Win the Taça de Honra 2014

Sporting won the Taça de Honra in the competitions 100th anniversary after comfortably beating Benfica in the final 1-0.

Before getting to the final Sporting had to beat Belenenses as the Estádio do Restelo. Two goals in the space of 3 minutes gave Sporting a 2-0 lead in the first half. First a fantastic strike by Wilson Eduardo before a great freekick from André Martins.

Sporting had the most of the first half but the game changed in the second with both sides making plenty of substitutions including a first appearance for Simeon Slavchev. Belenenses pulled a goal back in the 83rd minute through an André Geraldes own goal but Sporting went through in the end.

SPORTING XI vs. Belenenses: Marcelo Boeck; Cédric Soares (André Geraldes, 45′), Maurício (Paulo Oliveira, 46′), Eric Dier, Jefferson (Mica Pinto, 60′); Oriol Rosell (Rúben Semedo, 60′), Adrien Silva (Simeon Slavchev, 46′), André Martins (Scored, 33′) (João Mário, 46′); Wilson Eduardo (Scored, 30′) (Carlos Mané, 46′), André Carrillo (Diego Capel, 46′), Fredy Montero (Junya Tanaka, 46′)
Substitutes Not Used: Luís Ribeiro, Vítor Silva, Shikabala, Ryan Gauld, Héldon Ramos, Salim Cissé

So Sporting went on to face Benfica in the final after Benfica defeated Estoril in their game. With the departure of Wilson Eduardo to Dinamo Zagreb earlier today Marco Silva brought in Diego Capel in another wise unchanged line-up.

Sporting started the better over Benfica but it took a while before Sporting created any chances. André Carrillo hit the post midway through the first half but it took until the 42nd minute for Sporting to find the night. A mistake from João Teixeira in midfield mend Sporting could break and André Carrillo found space down the right. The Peruvian crossed for André Martins to finish from close range.

The goal proved to be enough with Benfica creating very little in the second half where as Sporting were for the most part comfortable in possession and perhaps should have doubled their lead. Certainly Fredy Montero had a great chance to after a glorious pass from Adrien Silva.

One goal was enough in the end for Sporting to win the Taça de Honra and get pre-season off to an excellent start.

Before being handed the trophy Marcelo Boeck, who captained the side on both occasions, was awarded best goalkeeper of the tournament and André Martins top goalscorer.

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Pre-Season Fixtures Announced

Sporting have finally announced the fixtures for the upcoming pre-season campaign.

July 12th: vs. Azores XI for the Troféu Pauleta at the Estádio de São Miguel in Ponta Delgada.

July 18th / July 20th: Defending the Taça de Honra at the Restelo in Belém. Sporting will face Belenenses first on the 18th before, hopefully, facing the winner of Estoril and Benfica on the 20th. Last season Sporting fielded a B team for this game whilst on tour.

July 22nd-29th: Training camp in Doorwerth in the Netherlands. Three friendly games are scheduled for this time but no details yet.

1st August: Troféu Cinco Violinos game against Lazio at the Alvalade. Here the squad will be presented to the fans.

4th August: A trip to Egypt to take on Al Ittihad Alexandria for the Egyptian’s club’s 100th anniversary.

6th August: Away to FC Midtjylland in Herning, Denmark. Sporting aim to play a squad of half A and half B team players.

August 9th / August 10th: Participating in Troféu Teresa Herrera in La Coruña. Also in that tournament are Deportivo de La Coruña, Sporting Gijón, and Uruguayan club Club Nacional de Football. Last year’s winners were Real Madrid.

News Round-Up 30/05

A round-up of some of the news from Portugal’s daily papers…

This year’s Taça da Honra will be held at the Estádio do Restelo with Sporting, Benfica, Belenenses and Estoril once again competing. Current holders Sporting will kick-off on the 18th July against Belenenses before potentially facing Benfica or Estoril in the final on the 20th July. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Taça da Honra.

O Jogo is reporting that André Martins is set to be offered a contract extension that will extended his deal at the club until 2018. The negotiations have been going on but the paper reports that it is likely to be finalised with Martin on a €35,000-a-week contract with a €45,000,000 release clause.

In transfer rumours Arsenal at the latest club to be linked with Eric Dier. Dier’s father was said to be unhappy with the defender’s lack of football last season but with Marcos Rojo looking likely to leave Dier could soon find himself in playing more next season although he will have to compete with new signing Paulo Oliveira for that spot. Arsenal are apparently willing to offer €6,000,000 for the player.

Marcos Rojo rumours are continuing in full force with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona the latest clubs rumoured to be in for the defender. Sporting are said to be hoping for between €10-15m before they decide to sell.

There are apparently more options for Fabián Rinaudo should he wish to leave the club. As well as Catania being extremely interested the midfielder has been linked with a whole host of clubs in his native Argentina with Boca Juniors, Racing Club, Rosario Central and his former club Gimnasia La Plata all said to be interested.

Sporting have been linked with the signing of Iranian 18-year old left-winger Ali Hazami. Hazami is currently with Foolad FC in Iran and the player’s agent says that the player is just waiting for an offer from Sporting with Pohang Steelers of Korea also interested.

The transfer of Marko Petković from Red Star Belgrade is getting closer with Record saying the player has agreed to join the club and they are confident that the Serbian right-back will be Sporting’s 3rd signing of the transfer window.

Finally Sporting are also continuing their interest in Marítimo’s Derley. Record said that the player’s agent arrived in Portugal last Monday ahead of negotiations for the player.