New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update 4/27


Sporting Lisbon were away this week to Moreirense for league action. For Monday’s match, manager Marco Silva went with a 4-4-2 lineup instead of the usual 4-3-3, and instead of one striker, he went with two, Junya Tanaka and former Seattle Sounder Fredy Montero.

With the exception of a few defensive hiccups, Sporting put together a very good display, and easily rolled over Moreirense 4-1. Montero was the best player on the pitch, as evidence by his two goals and two assists. One of his assists went to his striker partner Tanaka.

Twenty-one-year-old Carlos Mane recorded a sound performance, and in his second season with the senior squad, he scored the first goal which was assisted by Montero. Although Mane didn’t get the assist on Montero’s first goal, he was involved in the play.

With four games left in league play, Monday’s win keeps Sporting 12 points clear of Braga for third place (Champions League playoff). Benfica and Porto tied on Sunday during the Classico, so Sporting actually gained two points on Benfica and Porto. They are nine points behind Benfica, so no I am not barking up that tree.

But the Leoes are only six points behind Porto, who are in second place. Although a late season collapse from the Dragaos may seem unlikely, a bid for second place (automatic Champions League spot) isn’t that far-fetched.

A quick league update. After the Classico tie this weekend, Benfica maintain a three-point lead over Porto, with four to go. The only thing we know for sure is who will finish top three.