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Photo by José Lorvão

Return to winning ways against Boavista FC

By Sporting CP
26 Apr, 2022

The team take a 3-0 triumph on the road in Liga Portugal

Sporting Clube de Portugal returned to Porto on Monday night for a league game against Boavista FC, won 0-3 by Os Leões. After a difficult week, they produced a consistent and effective response to get back to winning ways and close the gap to first place – now standing at six points.

In addition, the team are just one point away from clinching second place in Liga Portugal, which would take them directly into next season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

In changes from the game against FC Porto in the Taça de Portugal, coach Rúben Amorim left out the suspended Matheus Reis, Pedro Porro and Paulinho, as well as Manuel Ugarte, bringing in Nuno Santos, Ricardo Esgaio, João Palhinha and Marcus Edwards. In addition, Zouhair Feddal returned to the squad after an injury, joining youngsters Gonçalo Esteves and Rodrigo Ribeiro on the bench.

Sporting CP took the early initiative and played with plenty of width, and their first chance came from Esgaio down the right; Nunes, on the edge of the box, hit the ball badly, however. Fluid movement between the front three, regularly exchanging position, helped keep the team mobile and unpredictable.

Boavista FC were missing their top scorer, Petar Musa, and one of their most used players in Sebastián Pérez. They tried to stay organised and quickly go on the attack after each ball recovered - mainly through Kenji Gorré.

Sporting CP enjoyed 64% of the possession in the first half, and converted it into chances for the likes of Pedro Gonçalves, who shot off a rebound and had his effort blocked by Rafael Bracali.

They would open the scoring with another move created from the left channel, with Nuno Santos putting in a cross and Gonçalves bringing the ball down, Nunes striking with a low shot into the net for his fourth league goal of the season.

In the 40th minute, Sarabia tested Bracali from outside the area, but the goalkeeper sent out the Spaniard's swerving shot for a corner. 

The second half brought with it a more daring Boavista FC. In the 50th minute, Antonio Adán made his first save, holding off a long shot from Jeriel De Santis, whilst Makouta shot just wide. Amorim decided to make his first change shortly after, bringing in Ugarte in place of Nunes.

The second goal arrived immediately afterwards: To culminate a good collective move, Edwards' cross took a swerve off a deflection from Rodrigo Abascal, the ball hitting the post before completely crossing the line.

Further switches saw Rúben Vinagre and Bruno Tabata enter for Nuno Santos and Pedro Gonçalves. With less than a quarter of an hour to go, Amorim also introduced Feddal – back in action after more than a month sidelined – and also Daniel Bragança. 

Sporting CP hit the crossbar through a Paulinha header, as a third goal seemed ever closer. It would finally come when Tabata was fouled in the box, and he himself would convert the penalty as Os Leões won 0-3.

Currently on 76 points, Sporting CP are six points behind FC Porto and eight ahead of third-placed SL Benfica. Next up, they take on Gil Vicente FC at the Estádio José Alvalade on Sunday.

Sporting CP: Antonio Adán, Nuno Santos (Rúben Vinagre 68'), Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastián Coates [C] (Zouhair Feddal 78'), Luís Neto, Ricardo Esgaio, João Palhinha, Matheus Nunes (Manuel Ugarte 57'), Pedro Gonçalves (Bruno Tabata 68'), Marcus Edwards and Pablo Sarabia (Daniel Bragança 78').