In the Lions' first game played as part of the New York Football Challenge, Sporting beat Manchester City 2-0, thanks to a first half brace from Yannick Djaló.
Taking on the Blue half of Manchester, who were still without a large part of their squad, Paulo Sérgio's charges totally dominated the 90 minutes and secured a result with some excellent football that ticked all of the right boxes ahead of the Europa League qualification showdown with Nordsjaelland.
Curiously, it was the English outfit that created the first dangerous chance of the night, as Bellamy found himself one-on-one after two minutes with the Sporting goalkeeper. However, Tiago managed to pull of what would essentially be the only decent save needed for the rest of the night. Following the early chance, Sporting took control - playing in a 4x4x2 formation with Pedro Mendes and Maniche in the middle of the park, Saleiro and Postiga heading the attack and Djaló (left) and Vukcevic (right) roamed the wings - and the opportunities began to materialise. After 22 minutes, João Pereira released Vukcevic down the wing; with the speedy wideman whipping in a cross that was converted by a Djaló header to open the night's score sheet.
Even the most cynical of pundits would probably have expected City to rally, but it was the Lions who continued to control proceedings - with dangerous opportunities coming from both Vukcevic (29 and 31 m) and Djaló (36 m). After 39 minutes, a blistering run from Djaló left him one-on-one with the Manchester keeper; who he quickly rounded to then calmly place the ball into an empty net.
As the second half got underway, Sporting continued in the same dominating fashion, although the ball would not hit the back of the net again; despite a wealth of chances.
The Green and Whites put on a truly promising performance and the players all proved to be in fine shape. Paulo Sérgio's work at the Club is obviously paying dividend, as the Lions broke down almost every attack that team dressed in sky blue threw at them and turned in a well deserved win.
Maniche and Pedro Mendes controlled everything in the middle; Evaldo and João Pereira showed that they are also capable when going forward; and Saleiro and Postiga worked well together and with Vukcevic. Carriço was the hero in defence, with a bit of assistance from Polga, while Djaló put in a man-of-the-match performance with his two goals.
Pongolle, Valdes, André Santos and Veloso also looked in good form, with the three coming on as second half substitutes.
With this result, Sporting is sitting in first place in the New York Football Challenge - level on points with Tottenham, who the Lions will face on Sunday at 6:00pm.
Manchester City, 0-Sporting, 2
New York Football Challenge
2010-07-23 - Red Bull Arena, New York (United States of America)
Referee: Kevin Scott (USA)
Assistant referees: Corey Rockwell and Corey Parker
Half time result: 0-2
Manchester City: Joe Hart, Richards, Kompany, Zabaleta, Lescott (Onuoha, 46 m), Cunningham, Ireland (Nimely, 64 m), Patrick Vieira (Boyata, 64 m), Adam Johnson, Bellamy (Tutte, 73 m) and Jô (Guidetti, 73 m).
Coach: Roberto Mancini
Unused substitutes: Taylor and Wayne Bridge
SPORTING: Tiago, João Pereira, Carriço (captain), Polga, Evaldo, Yannick, Pedro Mendes (André Santos, 87 m), Maniche, Vukcevic (Valdes, 73 m), Postiga (Veloso, 78 m) and Saleiro (Pongolle, 46 m).
Coach: Paulo Sérgio
Unused substitutes: Rui Patrício, Nuno André Coelho and Liedson.
Cards: yellow, Carriço (43 m)
Goals: Yannick Djaló (22 and 39 m)