New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update: 2/23


It was a busy week for both the senior and B teams of Sporting CP.

Let’s start with the senior side, who traveled to Germany on Thursday for Europa League action vs Wolfsburg, in the first leg of the final 32 knockout stage. Sporting’s record against German teams is terrible, with just two wins in 20 total games. Their record in Germany is equally terrible at 0-9-1 (win loss tie).

In fact, their last game in Germany was this past fall vs Schalke 04 in the champions league, a 4-3 loss. That game ended a controversy when a penalty kick was called against SCP after left back Jefferson was called for hand ball, after handling the ball with his face. SCP had managed to tie the game at 3-3 after going down 3-1 and reduced to 10 men when they were leading 1-0.

Back to Thursday: with William Carvalho suspended for this game, and Islam Slimani still not healthy, former MLSers Oriol Rosell and Fredy Montero both started this game. The game was tied at half time 0-0, after the ref missed an obvious hand ball on Wolfsburg’s Vieirinha. The second half started with a quick goal from Dutch forward Bas Dost in the 46th minute. He would score another goal later in the half to make it 2-0 at full time.

Wolfsburg had majority shots on target and 54% possession. The margin could have been wider, but Sporting keeper Rui Patricio, last week’s goat, made a few big saves, keeping this draw some what close for the return leg, which will be on Thursday. For anyone not familiar with the German or Dutch soccer, Bas Dost is a name to remember for the future. he is only 25 years old, and uncapped for Holland, and he is in great form in the Bundesliga, with 11 goals.

Days after their Europa League defeat, the Leoes returned to Portuguese Liga action on Sunday, and were pitted against struggling Gil Vicente. A couple of the regular starters like Adrien Silva and Andre Carrilo were benched for this game. All the stats favored Sporting, but they somehow found themselves tied 0-0 at halftime. But early in the 2nd half, Sporting broke the tie with a corner kick goal from Junya Tanaka.

Nani, on loan from Manchester United, scored a rocket of a goal, with his weaker foot, to make it 2-0, the final score for this game. Nani has been criticized this season, going back to last summers World Cup for Portugal. Making plenty of poor ball distribution decisions, and his share of ball-hogging, it was great to see him score a goal, especially in a home win after the squad’s recent run of poor results. Their next league match is a big one, with second-place FC Porto on tap for next week.

Currently, Sporting are only two points behind Porto for second, but Porto are playing city rivals Boavista on Monday. Next week’s game will probably be their last chance to climb up the table to an automatic Champions League qualifying spot.

The “B” team were also busy with two games this week. On Wednesday they played Beira-Mar, and won 3-2. Wallyson was named player of the game as he, Rubio, and Sacko all scored. On Sunday they played Portimonense and won 1-0. Ousmane Drame scored the only goal of that game. These two victories brings their record to 13-10-6 (45 points), putting them seventh in the 2nd Division.


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