New England Soccer Today

Sporting CP Update


Following Sporting’s disappointing elimination from the Champions League at the hands of CSKA Moscow, the draw for the Europa League was held last Friday to determine the groups for the group phase. The path to St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland looks like it’ll be a rocky road after Sporting was drawn into a group with Besiktas (Turkey), Spartak Moscow (Russia), and Skenderdeu (Albania). Clearly, Besiktas and Spartak will be tough opponents, and their presence alone makes it one of the tougher groups in the competition.

In league action, Sporting CP traveled to Coimbra for a week three matchup against Academica. In a game in which not one, not two, but three – yes, three – penalty kicks were doled out, the Leoes prevailed to claim a 3-1 win.

Carlos Mane opened the scoring before Islam Slimani made it a two-goal advantage for the guests. Rabiola cut the lead in half from the spot before Adrien, Sporting’s usual PK man, hit the post on a penalty shot later in the second half. But late in the game, a third penalty was called, and this time, Sporting’s Alberto Aquilani took the shot, and successfully converted to the put match to bed.

After three weeks, Sporting are in a three-way tie for first place, along with Porto and Arouca. All three teams have seven points from their first three matches.

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