New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update

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Sporting maintained their three-point lead of rivals Benfica and six points over FC Porto following their Monday night clash with Boavista by winning 2-0. Boavista sit 16th on the table, and were unable to resist Sporting’s attack, which allowed defender Ewerton and Costa Rica’s captain Bryan Ruiz to both score before halftime. There are 11 matches left in the season.

THE TABLE

1. Sporting 58 points
2. Benfica 55 points
3. FC Porto 52 points

LOAN NEWS
Perhaps the biggest development relating to Revolution fans was the preseason debut of Sporting loanee Sambinha, who joined the local XI upon their arrival in Tucson, Ariz. for the Desert Diamond Cup last week. The 22-year-old center back has seen action in both of the first two Diamond Cup games, and nearly scored against Sporting K.C. on a free header at the far post in the dying moments of a 1-1 draw.

WHAT EUROPEAN DREAMS?
The Europa League resumed action last week, and Sporting took on Leverkusen at home in the first leg of the final 32 knockout phase. It was almost expected that manager Jorge Jesus would continue to play a mix of starters and bench players to focus on winning the Portuguese League. With captain Adrien and star striker Islam Slimani on the bench, Sporting struggled all game to maintain possession, string passes together and provided the Leverkusen defense with any real threat on net. Even when Adrien and Slimani were subbed into the game at the 60th minute, Sporting simply had no answers for Leverkusen’s high pressure and killed off the match, winning away 1-0. With the League as a high priority, it will be interesting to see what team will be fielded in the second leg away in Germany down 1-0. Sporting has never beaten Leverkusen in five matches, or in Germany ever, for that matter.

THE B SIDE
The B team has been suffering from poor form, and that continued last week with a loss to Leixoes (3-1), and a draw to Freamunde (1-1). In their loss to Leixoes, Betinho scored the lone goal for Sporting B. As for their tie, Francisco Geraldes tied the match up late to prevent a second loss.

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