New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update: 3/16


After last week’s near-disastrous performance versus bottom-of-the table Penafiel, Sporting CP could finally catch their breath for the first team in several weeks without having to worry about a mid-week game.

They returned to the Madeira Island, but this time they played Maritimo. Possession was almost about split, but Maritimo doubled Sporting in total shots, and shots on target. Despite that advantage, Maritimo were called for a penalty after Jefferson was taken down in the penalty box in the 33rd minute. Adrien, celebrating his 26th birthday, converted the shot from the spot for the only goal in the game, which netted the Leoes a 1-0 win.

Only two weeks ago, SC Braga were one point behind Sporting for third on the table, which gets a Champions League playoff spot. With games versus Porto and Benfica, they had a chance to at least keep pace and pass Sporting had they lost or tied. They also would of made the race for the top two spots more interesting. To Sporting’s benefit, Braga lost both games, while Sporting won theirs. Now their lead over Braga is at seven points with nine games to go.

With no mid-week match on tap, the Leoes can focus their attention on fifth-place Guimaraes, who they’ll face on Sunday.

The “B” team were busy this week. On Wednesday, they played Trofense and tied 1-1. Four days later, they faced Academico de Viseu, and won that game 2-1.

Diego Rubio scored in each game, taking his total since returning from Norway on loan to nine goals in 11 games. With the Leoes having trouble scoring goals from the forward position, some people are wondering when manager Marco Silva calls him up to the senior squad for another shot with the big team.

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