Victory takes Sporting CP 10 points clear
'Os Leões' triumph 2-0 against FC Paços Ferreira
Sporting Clube de Portugal bested FC Paços Ferreira 2-0 in Monday night Liga NOS fixture, taking their advantage in the standings over nearest rivals FC Porto to 10 points. Goals from João Mário and João Palhinha earned 'Os Leões' their latest win.
Rúben Amorim made some adjustments to his starting eleven, which consisted of Adán, Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastián Coates, Zouhair Feddal, Pedro Porro, João Mário, João Palhinha, Nuno Mendes, Tiago Tomás, Paulinho and Pedro Gonçalves.
The first warning from Sporting CP came 10 minutes into the game, as Paulinho attempted to backheel in a cutback from Pedro Gonçalves.
Next to try his luck was Pedro Porro, whose shot was tipped over the top by the FC Paços Ferreira goalkeeper -although the referee awarded a goal kick.
The visitors tried to respond through set pieces, but were mostly on the defensive. In the 19th minute, Rebocho took down Pedro Gonçalves in the area, with a penalty kick immediately given.
Stepping up to the penalty spot, João Mário duly dispatched, making it 1-0 and putting the wheels in motion for victory number 16 of the league season.
Sporting CP continued to control the game, but received a scare when FC Paços Ferreira had a chance on 42 minutes. Luther Singh took a powerful shot from the edge of the area, but Adán denied him with his foot.
Sporting CP reacted immediately and, after insistence and some confusion in the area, at 45 + 1 minutes, Coates sent the ball over the goal of FC Paços Ferreira, missing the opportunity to increase the advantage.
The lead immediately extended after the return from the halftime break, and goal number two came from a corner: Pedro Porro delivered it in, Zouhair Feddal flicked the ball on with his head and João Palhinha, free at the back post, converted.
Amorim made the first substitution shortly thereafter, bringing on Nuno Santos and resting Paulinho.
In the 65th minute, with Adán off his line, Feddal kept out an initial effort from Tanque, who shot again into the side netting. Three minutes later, it was Luther Singh who tried to reduce the deficit, but without success.
Ten minutes later, João Mário, Pedro Gonçalves and Tiago Tomás were replaced by Matheus Nunes, Tabata and Jovane Cabral.
FC Paços Ferreira nearly got a consolation goal in the final ten minutes, but João Pedro would be thwarted by Adán for the clean sheet to be completed.
Now with a double-digit lead in the standings, Sporting CP will be back at the Estádio José Alvalade on Saturday, playing Portimonense SC in an 8:30pm kickoff.