Sporting CP win 2-0 against Rio Ave FC
First half goals keep the team at the summit in Liga Portugal
Sporting Clube de Portugal beat Rio Ave FC 2-0 in a Monday night fixture to close Matchday 6 of the Liga Portugal season, keeping them top of the table with five wins and one draw.
Coach Rúben Amorim made five changes to the starting XI that faced Sturm Graz in the Europa League. He fielded an initial lineup of Antonio Adán, Ousmane Diomande, Sebastián Coates, Gonçalo Inácio, Ricardo Esgaio, Morten Hjulmand, Hidemasa Morita, Nuno Santos, Marcus Edwards, Paulinho and Pedro Gonçalves.
In front of 34,355 fans at the Estádio José Alvalade, the home team began the game well and chased an early goal. Sporting CP took the lead after just 10 minutes, as Marcus Edwards sent Hidemasa Morita through with a pass through the middle, and the Japanese broke into the area and crossed for Paulinho to finish.
Minutes later, Edwards sent a pass to the right for Pedro Gonçalves, and the winger crossed to the back post. Nuno Santos' first time shot was saved by Magrão to prevent a second Sporting CP goal.
The second goal arrived before the half-hour, when Morten Hjulmand won the ball back near the area, going on to set up Edwards. The Englishman got to the light, took Aderllan out of the equation and, from a tight angle, converted the chance to make it 2-0.
With the next five minutes, Gonçalves received the ball from Paulinho and hit the woodwork, going on to have a subsequent shot saved by Magrão. Gonçalves controlled poorly on the rebound and his shot went wide.
Adán continued to be almost a mere spectator, and only in the final five minutes of the first half did Rio Ave FC get a shot off: Fábio Ronaldo's strike flying over.
The break came later with 2-0 on the scoreboard, a fair advantage for Sporting CP, but, let's say, a short one given everything that happened in the first 45 minutes of the match.
In the second half, Sporting CP started well once again and immediately looked for a third goal. In the 48th minute, Magrão denied Sebastián Coates by holding his header.
Rio Ave FC had the ball in the net on 50 minutes from Costinha off a free kick, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Sporting CP were always looking to score a third goal, and it was only Magrão who denied Nuno Santos. Shortly after, another shot from Gonçalves flew over.
After the hour matk, Sporting CP tried to control the game and gave more of the ball to the opposition. Rio Ave FC once again approached the box, with former Sportinguista Leonardo Ruiz trying to surprise Adán, but from the first opportunity the ball went wide and on the second the Spanish goalkeeper caught the effort without difficulty.
Amorim then made two double substitutions: First Morten Hjulmand and Marcus Edwards were replaced by Daniel Bragança and Francisco Trincão, then it was Nuno Santos and Ricardo Esgaio's turn to make way for Matheus Reis and Geny Catamo.
In the last fifteen minutes, Sporting CP continued to control the game, and they were able to manage the result to claim their latest victory in Liga Portugal.
The team are next in action on Saturday, at 8:30 pm, away to SC Farense.