Taça de Portugal Draw: Famalicão (Away)

The draw for the Taça de Portugal has been made and Sporting will face FC Famalicão away from home on the 16th October.

The game takes place just before the game against Borussia Dortmund so expect a second string Sporting side to feature.

The last time the two teams met was also in the Taça de Portugal back in January 2015 when goals from André Carrillo, João Mário, Paulo Oliveira, and Fredy Montero completed a comfortable 4-0 win.

Result: Benfica 4-3 SPORTING (AET)

Match report from PortuGOAL.net:

“Sporting came back from 3-1 down after a sensational Óscar Cardozo hat-trick to take the game into extra time only for a Rui Patrício error for Luisão’s header to give Benfica the victory. The action packed game that saw goals from Diego Capel, Maurício and Islam Slimani’s dramatic equaliser to take the game to extra time will no doubt be remembered as one of the best matches of the season.

Jorge Jesus decided to go with a 3-man Benfica midfield of Nemanja Matić, Enzo Pérez and Rubén Amorim to try and take control of the game. Leonardo Jardim was forced into one change into what is, it seems, his preferred Sporting line up with Iván Piris needing to step in at right-back for the injured Cédric Soares.

It was Sporting who started off the brighter but it was the home side who took the lead. A rash tackle my Marcos Rojo on the edge of the area lead to Óscar Cardozo, a man who loves facing Sporting, to step up. Cardozo smashed his shot low and under the wall to put Benfica ahead. Cardozo had a chance to score another just minutes afterwards but Rui Patrício managed to tip his shot onto the bar.

The game slowed down after the first goal and become a midfield battle with neither side able to create many chances.

Indeed, there was little goalmouth action until Sporting got their equaliser. Good build up play saw Fredy Montero find Wilson Eduardo on their right hand side. Wilson’s long cross was emphatically finished by Diego Capel lurking at the far post.

Sporting were only on level terms for 5 minutes until Cardozo struck once more. The visitors failed to clear their lines and Nicolás Gaitán was able to float a cross to the back post for the Paraguayan forward to head home from close range.

Óscar Cardozo completed a sensational hat-trick just before the break. William Carvalho, recently called up to the Portugal squad, was guilty of losing possession in midfield that allowed Benfica to rush forward. Cardozo was found in space and curled an unstoppable finish into Patrício’s top right hand corner.

Benfica started the second-half in charge of the game as Sporting looked to try and and push further forward. The game seemed more like to got to 4-1 than 3-2 but it was Sporting who managed to get a goal back.

André Martins’ corner in the 62nd minute was met by a towering leap from centre-defender Maurício to give Leonardo Jardim’s side a big confidence boost. Jardim then followed up by bringing on Islam Slimani for André Martins in an attempt to grab an equalising goal.

Sporting though just could not break through Benfica and the Eagles were still in control of the game. Óscar Cardozo almost got his 4th goal of the game but Rui Patrício got down well to save his shot from close range.

That lucky escape seemed to wake Sporting up and they had their best chance to equalise just seconds after. Substitute Islam Slimani found himself free in space and his near post shot rattled against the post.

It seemed that Benfica were to see out the game but an Adrien Silva freekick in the 3rd minute of stoppage time found the head of Islam Slimani to send the game into extra time, despite Artur’s attempted save. Conceding again from a set-piece will no doubt give Jorge Jesus cause for concern.

Sporting looked to have gained confidence in the early stages of extra time after their equaliser but a bizarre goal saw Benfica in the lead again. Luisão’s very soft header from a freekick as he going down in the penalty area slipped through Rui Patrício’s legs when it looked like the Portugal goalkeeper had it under a control. A rare, and costly “frango” from Patrício.

In the second period of extra time Sporting had a big shout for a penalty as Carlos Mané’s attempt at a hooked cross looked to have hit André Almeida on the arm. Replays showed that although the ball did undoubtably touch the right-back’s hand it was difficult to to tell what else the defender could have done in such close proximity. Islam Slimani was booked for his protests.

The Algerian was in the thick of it again seconds late as he spurned a magnificent chance to equalise as Benfica started to look rattled. His header in front of goal from close range whistled just past the post.

Benfica then came closest as Ivan Cavaleiro’s shot was superbly saved by Rui Patrício from close range. The following rebound by André Gomes then crashed off of the woodwork.

Sporting’s hopes faded with just over 5 minutes of extra time left to go when Marcos Rojo, who had not had the best of games again, was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on substitute Ivan Calveleiro. There was though still time for Fredy Montero to have one last last chance for Sporting but Artur was able to save and make sure it was Benfica who progressed.

The result will be a huge boost for Jorge Jesus as he looks to keep his job secure. He will though have some concerns about his sides defending once again from set-pieces.

Leonardo Jardim will be happy with the heart his team displayed, a far better performance than that against Porto. Individual errors, with Macros Rojo in particular a culprit, will be a big concern.”

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; Iván Piris, Maurício, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, André Martins (Islam Slimani, 70′); Wilson Eduardo (André Carrillo, 60′), Diego Capel (Carlos Mané, 81′), Fredy Montero
Substitutes Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Eric Dier, Fabián Rinaudo, Vítor Silva

Taça de Portugal Draw: Benfica

The fourth round for the Taça de Portugal has pitted Sporting against Benfica at the Estádio da Luz on the 9th November.

The game will be considerably more challenging than most recent thrashing over SC Alba but Benfica found it tough going to beat Cinfães in their game.

Augusto Inácio told the press: “Everyone will be looking forward to this game. Benfica have the privilege of playing at home. It is always hard to win a derby but if we want to be in the final we will have to”

The teams have, of course, already met this season with Fredy Montero scoring the goal in a 1-1 draw.

Result: SPORTING 8-1 SC Alba

Sporting expectedly thrashed a resilient Sport Clube de Alba side 8-1 at the Estádio José Alvalade in the Taça de Portugal.

Leonardo Jardim was making sure there’d be no mistakes with a strong team selection. Fabián Rinaudo made his first start of the season along side Adrien and Vítor Silva in midfield. Vítor making his first start for the first team. Gérson Magrão filled the left-back role whilst Iván Piris played right-back. Jardim went for a very strong front 3 of André Carrillo, Wilson Eduardo and Fredy Montero.

Unsurprisingly Sporting started on top straight away against the minnows from Albergaria-a-Velha. Fredy Montero in particular had an excellent change in the first 10 minutes after being fed in on goal by a great pass from Vítor Silva but his chip sailed over the bar.

Sporting did make the opening in the 16th minute when Fredy Montero was fed down the left-hand channel and he crossed low for Wilson Eduardo to fire home from close range.

After another four minutes the home side then doubled their lead when a Vítor Silva cross was tapped in from close range by Marcos Rojo.

Sporting went close to another goal soon after Iván Piris broke free down the right-side and crossed to Montero who head onto André Carrillo. Carrillo’s close-range shot was well saved by Luís Santos. The Colombian now already in double-figures for the season.

In the 30th minute Wilson Eduardo found Fredy Montero who cleverly finished past Luís to make it 3-0. Replays showed that the striker may have been fractionally offside.

Vítor Silva almost made it 4 in the 38th minute after being put through on goal by Fredy Montero but the midfielder his shot over when he should have easily scored.

The first-half had been an easy game for Sporting, perhaps best proven by the 75% possession they enjoyed.

Leonardo Jardim made one change at the interval with youngster Rúben Semedo on for Marcos Rojo. The young centre-back making his full debut for the first team.

The second-half started much slower than the first with Sporting well in control of proceedings.

There was a big worry when Adrien Silva went down and looks to have took a knock. The midfielder was about to be substituted when Fredy Montero popped up again to grab the fourth goal after an excellent cross from the left-hand side by Gérson Magrão. Montero taking his goals tally for the season up to 11 goals.

Diego Capel made his return for the injured Adrien Silva. It took the Spanish winger just a minute before getting on the scoresheet after somehow excellently getting on to the end of André Carrillo’s cross.

Vítor Silva was the next to get on the scoresheet after some good play by André Carrillo and then Wilson Eduardo who crossed the ball low. Fredy Montero did well to dummy for the charging Vítor Silva to side foot the ball into the net to make it 6-0.

A mix up at the back between Marcelo Boeck and Rúben Semedo meant that Alba managed to get consolation goal. Carlos Santos was left with an empty goal for an easy tap in. Considering the excellent attitude of the Alba team and, especially, their supporters it was a great moment for the club.

Islam Slimani had an excellent opportunity to get his first goal for Sporting but Luís Santos made an excellent save to deny him one-on-one.

The Algerian forward did manage to get his first goal at last in the 85th minute to make it 7-1 to the home side. Vítor Silva again was the man who made the goal, the midfielder giving Leonardo Jardim a headache before his selection against Porto.

The scoring wasn’t done there though as Fredy Montero managed to grab another hat-trick at Sporting. Piris cut back the ball to Montero who did well to go past one play and smash the ball past Santos to make it 8 on the night. Montero getting his 12th goal in just 8 games.

In all it was a comfortable game, as expected, for Sporting. With focus now fully shifted onto the game against FC Porto next week.

Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck; Iván Piris, Maurício, Marcos Rojo (Scored, 20′) (Rúben Semedo, 45′), Gérson Magrão; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), Adrien Silva (Diego Capel, 57′, scored, 59′), Vítor Silva (Scored, 67′); Wilson Eduardo (Scored, 16′), André Carrillo (Islam Slimani, 68′, Scored 86′), Fredy Montero (Scored, 31′, 57′)
Substitutes Not Used: Rui Patrício, Cédric Soares, André Martins, Carlos Mané

Taça de Portugal Draw: SC Alba

The draw for the third round of the Taça de Portugal today gave Sporting a highly favourable fixture. Sporting will host minnows Sport Clube Alba at the Alvalade.

Alba, who currently 14th in the Aveiro 1st Division after relegation from the III Divisão Série C last year, will be huge underdogs. Alba qualified for the third round with a win over União de Montemor in the second round after having been given a bye for the first round.

With a win almost certain the game should prove an excellent opportunity to rest key players and give youngsters their debuts.

Director of Football Augusto Inácio tried to keep a level head about the lowliness of the upcoming opponents saying “We are very pleased to receive the SC Alba. Sporting always respect the opponent.”

On being asked about the team’s changes to win the trophy Inácio said “Sporting tries to win every game, no matter what the competition is.”

The game will be played on the weekend of the 19th / 20th October.

Match Report: Nacional 1-3 SPORTING (3-5 agg.)

Sporting progressed through to the final of the Taça de Portugal to face off against Académica after beating Nacional 3-1 (5-3 agg.).

The game saw the return of Fabián Rinaudo to the Sporting team after he picked up his bad injury in the Europe League game against FC Vaslui back in November. Domingos Paciência also gave a debut to Brazilian central-defender Xandão on loan from São Paulo.

In truth it was Nacional who began the better side but after just 19 minutes Fabián Rinaudo marked his return with his first ever goal for the club. Rinaudo’s strike from outside the area hit Vladan Giljen’s left-hand post and went in.

Nacional to their credit continued with the best of the game but were unable to find an opening to goal.

Things though went from bad to word for Nacional as Mario Rondón received a red card for his second bookable offence after a foul on the returning Rinaudo.

After the break though Pedro Caixinha’s did finally manage to score. A mix up in defence between Rui Patrício and Ânderson Polga allowed Diego Barcellos to head-in the equaliser for the home side after 64 minutes which would have meant Nacional would go through on away goals.

Sporting took the lead again when Claudemir pulled down Emiliano Insúa in the penalty area to concede a penalty. Ricky van Wolfswinkel confidentially slotted home to put Sporting ahead.

With the extra man advantage Sporting were able to take control of the game and, in stoppage time, João Pereira’s superb run and finish finished the game off for Sporting.

Sporting will have Académica at the Estádio do Jamor on Sunday 20th May for the Taça de Portugal. It is a welcome reprise from the shabby start to 2012.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Xandão (YC), Ânderson Polga (YC), Emiliano Insúa; Fabián Rinaudo (Sebastián Ribas 71′), Elias, Matías Fernández; André Carrillo (YC), Diego Capel (Evaldo Fabiano 52′, YC), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Daniel Carriço 82′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Renato Neto, André Martins, Marat Izmailov

SPORTING vs. Nacional Preview

Sporting return to Taça de Portugal action tomorrow in the first leg of the semi-final against Nacional.

With last weekend’s draw against Porto making the chances of winning the league increasingly unlikely it adds to the importance of this year’s taça which is more than winnable for Sporting. Should they progress into the final after beating Nacional then they will either Académica de Coimbra or Oliveirense who Sporting know they have a great chance of beating.

The two sides met just last month in the liga when Oguchi Onyewu’s header gave Sporting a close 1-0 win.

Domingos Paciência’s squad for the forth-coming game is:

Goalkeepers: Rui Patrício, Marcelo Boeck
Defenders: João Pereira, Santiago Arias, Alberto Rodríguez, Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu, Evaldo Fabiano, Emiliano Insúa
Midfielders: Stijn Schaars, Diego Capel, Matías Fernández, Jeffrén Suárez, Renato Neto, André Martins, Elias
Forwards: Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Valeri Bojinov, André Carrillo, Sebastián Ribas

The inclusions of the returning Alberto Rodríguez and new boy Sebastián Ribas are certainly worth mentioning. It will be interesting to note whether Renato Neto will retain his play in the middle of the park too.

Marat Izmailov picked up an injury in the draw against Porto but it is not thought to be serious and although he may miss this match is thought to be returning soon. Daniel Carriço is still recovering and Xandão also misses out.

One of the most telling omissions is that of André Santos who did not even feature on the bench of the last game. Rumours of him departing are increasing rapidly and Domingos’ recent comments will not help to stop that when he told the media “I have already told him what I think. I talk to my players face to face, with no exceptions.”

Sporting will want to get as a large a win as possible in the first leg to try and make the second leg more manageable with the fixtures being so thick and faster over the next few months.

Taça de Portugal Draw: Nacional

The semi-finals for the Taça de Portugal were drawn today with Sporting drawing Nacional with the possibility of playing the winner of Académica against Oliveirense in the finals.

The first leg will be played at the Alvalade on the 11th January with the return leg on the 8th February in Madeira.

The two sides met recently at the Alvalade  back on the 11th December when Oguchi Onyewu’s first-half header was enough to give Sporting the win.

Match Report: SPORTING 3-0 Marítimo

Sporting advanced into the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal with a 3-0 win over Marítimo. André Carrillo opened the scoring before Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored after his second penalty kick of the night and Emiliano Insúa finishing it off.

With Elias suspended from the previous game Domingos Paciência chose to chose André Martins in his position. André Carrillo also started the game after Bruno Pereirinha started last time out against Académica.

Sporting were on the attack early on and André Martins had the first chance of the match but he shot over from close range. There will be worry for Sporting as minutes later Daniel Carriço went off injured after just 20 minutes meaning André Santos came on as his replacement.

Marítimo were a threat on the counter attack and Baba Diawara forced Rui Patrício into a smart save early on to the keep the scores level.

Two minutes afterwards and Stijn Schaars’ through-ball found Ricky van Wolfswinkel free in the area. His shot though was well saved by Marítimo goalkeeper Ricardo Ferreira. The rebound fell to André Martins who could only hit the bar.

Oguchi Onyewu had the best chance of the half as Stijn Schaars fed a chipped ball into his path but the American defender’s diving header went just wide.

André Martins was booked for diving in the area just before the break when replays showed that there was definitely a major shout for a penalty.

Shortly after the break and Sporting to the goal they needed when Diego Capel’s cross found André Carrillo drifting in from the right. The Peruvian hit an excellent header to put Sporting in the lead and score his first-ever Sporting goal.

Sporting were given a penalty after 55 minutes when Igor Rossi pulled back Ricky van Wolfswinkel as the Dutchman went through on goal, referee Artur Soares Dias had no choice but to send the Brazilian defender off. Ricky van Wolfswinkel stepped up to take the penalty but his shot could only hit the post and bounce out of danger.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel didn’t get much chance to dwell on the incident as minutes later Sporting got another penalty. This time João Guilherme took down André Carrillo in the area and van Wolfswinkel stepped up again. Despite of the efforts of Marítimo players to put van Wolfswinkel off this time he smashed the penalty into the same corner but the correct side of the post to put Sporting 2-0 ahead.

Marítimo didn’t give up though and Danilo Dias found himself through 1-on-1 with Rui Patrício. Danilo tried to go around the goalkeeper but Patrício did well to stand his ground and save the Marítimo man’s shot.

Emiliano Insúa rounded off the scoring on the 82nd minute when he shot at Ricardo Ferreira. Ricardo saved well but the rebound fell kindly to Insúa who had a simple header to finish the game off for Sporting.

That win avenges the defeat to Marítimo suffered earlier in the season and advancing into the semi-finals in which the possible opponents include Académica, Oliveirense or the winner of Nacional and Moreirense.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga (YC), Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa (Scored 82′, YC); Daniel Carriço (André Santos 20′, YC), Stijn Schaars, André Martins (YC, Bruno Pereirinha 69′); André Carrillo (Scored 48′, Santiago Arias 84′), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 60′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Evaldo Fabiano, Valeri Bojinov, Diego Rubio

SPORTING vs. Marítimo Preview

Sporting will be looking to advance into the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal on Thursday night as they host Marítimo in the quarter-final.

Sporting have beaten Belenenses, Braga and Famalicão to get this far where as Marítimo have got past Benfica, Juventude, and Beira-Mar.

The last time the two faced each other this season at the end of August with Marítimo’s three goals cancelling out the goals of Marat Izmailov and Jeffrén Suárez. When both teams met in their last Taça de Portugal clash back in 2001/2002 (the year Sporting won the trophy) the game went to extra time. Sporting had to come back from behind twice thanks to goals from Dimitris Nalitzis and André Cruz with a 93rd minute João Pinto goals putting Sporting into the final that year.

Marítimo are currently about to finish a tough run of fixtures, a look at their last 3 fixtures shows a taça win over Benfica, liga loss to Benfica and another liga loss to Porto. Marítimo have been having a very good season so far and Pedro Martins’ men currently sit 5th in the liga just 3 points behind Braga and 5 behind Sporting.

Domingos Paciência’s men will be wanting to bounce back from the disappointing 1-1 draw away to Académica last weekend. Elias will miss the game due to his suspension after being sent off in that Académica game. Although Marat Izmailov, Matías Fernández and Jeffrén have returned to some training recently they will almost certainly miss out for the the upcoming taça game.

The match will be Sporting’s last of 2011 with just under two weeks until Sporting’s next game after that, the Taça de Liga clash away to Rio Ave before  the huge game against Porto after that.

Possible SPORTING XI:

Marcelo Boeck

João Pereira – Oguchi Onyewu – Ânderson Polga – Emiliano Insúa

Daniel Carriço – Stijn Schaars – André Martins

André Carrillo – Ricky van Wolfswinkel – Diego Capel