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Photo by Mário Vasa

2020/21 Taça da Liga winners!

By Sporting CP
23 Jan, 2021

Sporting CP best SC Braga 1-0 to lift the league cup

Sporting Clube de Portugal are Taça da Liga winners for 2020/21. The team won their third such cup this Saturday, besting SC Braga 1-0 in Leira under soaking wet conditions and against spirited opposition.

Rúben Amorim made two changes to his starting lineup for the final, bringing in Nuno Mendes and Jovane Cabral after they were not part of the first XI against FC Porto in the semifinal.

'Os Leõe' opted for a more direct strategy in the opening half, due to the difficulties in playing the ball along the ground and the extensive puddles  on the pitch. However, they were not able to register clear chances in the initial half hour.

They found themselves without their coach in the dugout, as Amorim was sent to the stands for dissent, leaving Emanuel Ferro to oversee the tactical decisions.

Whilst the sending off was a setback, what happened next was the key moment of the game: On 41 minutes, Pedro Porro took advantage of a lapse in attention from the SC Braga defense to go through down the right channel. He fired a venomous shot into the net, racing off to celebrate one of the biggest goals of his career.

Soon after Porro had made it 1-0, Pedro Gonçalves came close to scoring the second goal, but this time the SC Braga goalkeeper was able to bat the ball away and deny Sporting a more ample advantage going into half time.

Leading the way at the break, Sporting CP made a switch to bring on Nuno Santos for Jovane Cabral. Whilst this was an attacking switch, it was SC Braga who threatened most in the opening moments in search of an equaliser.

That did not mean that 'Os Leões' sat back, however, and they provided the first real danger just past the hour mark. Pedro Gonçalves again struck a strong drive that Matheus was required to tip out for a corner.

On 80 minutes, after SC Braga had hit the crossbar, Sporting CP responded through the recently introduced Andraž Šporar, but the Slovenian's shot came up against another intervention by the increasingly active Matheus.
In the final minutes of the match, SC Braga pushed hard to level, but Sporting CP were rock solid in defence and avoided any late scare. They were reduced to ten men when Pedro Gonçalves was sent off before the final whistle, although there was no keeping their hands off the cup. Thanks to the 1-0 triumph, Sporting CP have now won three of the last four editions of the Taça da Liga.