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Photo by José Lorvão

Masterclass in Istanbul leads to first Champions League win

By Sporting CP
19 Oct, 2021

Sporting CP outshine Beşiktaş JK with a 1-4 win

Sporting Clube de Portugal put in a stellar performance against Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 3 of the Champions League Group Stage, winning 1-4 in Istanbul. After having lost their opening two fixtures of the competition, the victory provides a much needed boost for Os Leões.

 For the game, played in front of a Vodafone Park crowd at 50% capacity, coach Rúben Amorim brought Matheus Reis, Pedro Porro and Pedro Gonçalves into the starting XI.
The match started with Paulinho missing a great opportunity, having gone through on goal just seconds after kickoff.
In the 15th minute, following a corner given following a save from Pablo Sarabia's shot, Sporting CP found the opening goal. Gonçalo Inácio deflected the ball towards the near post and Sebastián Coates dived in to make it 0-1.

Matheus Reis was very close to adding a second, but his shot went just over the crossbar.
Played at breakneck speed, the game became increasingly unpredictable due to constant dangerous attacks from both sides. In the 24th minute, Larin equalised for Beşiktaş JK with a header, but it was not long before the lead was reestablished: In a carbon copy of the first goal, Paulinho headed on for Coates to nod in his second of the night.

With the score at 1-2, Beşiktaş JK threatened Antonio Adán's goal again with Batshuayi's shot against the post, but soon after things would become more comfortable for Sporting CP: Off another corner, Coates won out again and headed towards goal, the ball bouncing off Vida's arm. After a VAR check, the referee signalled for a penalty and Sarabia converted from the spot.

Following the halftime break, the intensity allayed slightly in the first quarter hour of the second period. It was past the hour mark that Adán needed to intervene off a powerful shot, but those chances for the home side led to opportunities for counterattacks. On one such move, Pedro Porro crossed to Sarabia, who hit the post, and soon after it was Paulinho's turn to test the woodwork.
Sporting CP allowed little space for their opponents, and rounded off the night with their fourth goal in the 89th minute. Paulinho received the ball just outside the area, spotted the goalkeeper off his line and sent a curling shot into the net to make it 1-4.
Os Leões thus took their first victory in the Champions League this season and climbed to third place in Group C, with three points. The next game in the competition is scheduled for November 3rd, at the Estádio José Alvalade. However, now the focus returns to the Liga Portugal, and a home game against Moreirense FC on Saturday.
Sporting CP: Antonio Adán [GR], Zouhair Feddal (Luís Neto, 90+1'), Sebastián Coates [GR], Gonçalo Inácio, Matheus Reis (Ricardo Esgaio, 73'), João Palhinha, Matheus Nunes (Daniel Bragança, 90' +2'), Pedro Porro, Pedro Gonçalves (Nuno Santos, 90+1'), Pablo Sarabia (Tiago Tomás, 84') and Paulinho.