Pedro Gonçalves brace ensures win over CD Santa Clara
Sporting CP win 1-2 in the Azores
Sporting Clube de Portugal claimed a 1-2 win in the Azores against CD Santa Clara on Matchday 5 of the Liga NOS season, thanks to a brace from Pedro Gonçalves.
The game was the first of the campaign in which Os Leões were able to play in front of fans, with around 1,000 supporters permitted into the stadium.
Gonçalves opens the scoring
Coach Rúben Amorim opted to field the same starting XI as in O Clássico against FC Porto last week.
The first danger from the team came in the 13th minute, with Pedro Gonçalves setting up Nuno Santos. In a good spot inside the box, he would strike into the body of the SD Santa Clara goalkeeper.
The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes, with Gonçalves scoring his first goal of the season in the league. After beating an opposition player on the left wing, he broke into the box and shot from a narrow angle into the bottom corner.
Sporting CP had CD Santa Clara on the ropes and appeared to be comfortable, but in the 43rd minute the home team managed to equalise through Thiago Santana.
Moments later, in an almost immediate response, Jovane Cabral came very close to giving the advantage back to OS Leões, but fired the ball wide. It was the last chance of note in the first half.
The winning goal arrives late
After the restart the precision of both teams' passing play dropped, and Rúben Amorim decided to bring on strikers Tiago Tomás and Andraž Šporar. João Mário would later be introduced for Matheus Nunes in the midfield after the hour mark.
Šporar had two great opportunities to make it 1-2, but was off target on both occasions.
After 80th minutes the second goal finally arrived. Gonçalves completed his brace after being played through on goal, taking advantage of a risky run off the line by the home goalkeeper.
Off the back of a 1-2 win that keeps them unbeaten in Liga NOS action, Sporting CP play Gil Vicente FC on Wednesday in a rescheduled fixture.