Sporting CP end 2022/23 with a win
Os Leões claim victory against FC Vizela on the road
Sporting Clube de Portugal ended the 2022/2023 Liga Portugal season with a 1-2 triumph away to FC Vizela, on the 34th and final matchday.
Rúben Amorim made a series of adjustments to his starting lineup for the game. Without Ousmane Diomande, due to suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards, he fielded Matheus Reis on the left side of the defence, handed a midfield role to Dário Essugo, alongside Morita, and also returned Paulinho to the attack, along with Francisco Trincão and Pedro Gonçalves.
On a rainy night, FC Vizela took the lead early, striking just six minutes in through Osmajić off a quick counterattack. However, Sporting CP quickly took control, set up shop in the opposition half and got back on terms after 20 minutes, with a header by Gonçalo Inácio from a corner.
Os Leões dominated possession and had a series of approaches on goal, whilst their opponents looked to limit the space and hit on the counter.
Before the break, Sporting CP had two shots through Trincão and Nuno Santos that the opposition goalkeeper was forced to take action to keep out.
Upon the return for the second half, the match gained intensity -with both teams becoming more aggressive. In the opening moments, FC Vizela managed to recover a ball high up the pitch and crossed dangerously, with the ball cut out in the six-yard-box, followed by Sporting CP's response with Pedro Gonçalves shooting very close to the target.
Marcus Edwards was brought on for Dário Essugo, as Gonçalves moved into the midfield. Sporting CP took control again, but their crosses into the area were not very successful and it was difficult to break through the home team's solid defensive axis.
As the clock ticked down, Sporting CP increased the pressure and added some promising shots. First, Nuno Santos crossed low for Paulinho, whose knock towards goal was blocked by a defender, then Gonçalves hit a strong shot off target. Paulinho rounded off the chances with a weak header.
In the final stretch, just after the 85 minute mark, the team finally managed to score the winning goal. Gonçalves made his way up the left flank and crossed into the area, looking to find Paulinho or second half substitute Youssef Chermiti, but it ended up being former Sporting CP player Ivanildo Fernandes who turned the ball into his own net.
With a 1-2 win, Os Leões say goodbye to the 2022/2023 season with a run of 14 games undefeated in Liga Portugal, taking a total of 74 points, in addition to 71 goals scored and 32 conceded.
Sporting CP: Franco Israel [GK], Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastián Coates [C], Matheus Reis, Ricardo Esgaio (Héctor Bellerín, 80'), Dário Essugo (Marcus Edwards, 56'), Hidemasa Morita, Nuno Santos, Pedro Gonçalves, Francisco Trincão (Youssef Chermiti, 80') and Paulinho.