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Photo by José Lorvão

Monday night win in Minho for Sporting CP

By Sporting CP
19 Feb, 2024

The team start the week with a 0-2 victory over Moreirense FC

Sporting Clube de Portugal kept their run of form going with a 0-2 win against Moreirense FC on Liga Portugal Matchday 22. Hidemasa Morita and Pedro Gonçalves scored the goals early in the first half, leading their side to victory in a Monday night fixture.

Thousands of Sportinguistas made the trip to the Estádio Comendador Joaquim de Almeida Freitas, for a meeting with a side who began the game in sixth place in the league table. Four changes were made to the starting lineup for Sporting CP: The return of Sebastián Coates in place of Matheus Reis and the presence of Geny Catamo, Morita and Francisco Trincão in place of Ricardo Esgaio, Daniel Bragança and Marcus Edwards. On the bench, highlights included the presence of Iván Fresneda, back from injury, and Ousmane Diomande, in his first involvement since winning the African Cup of Nations with the Ivory Coast.

Debuting their new fourth kit, Sporting CP could not have started the game better. Following a corner kick from Francisco Trincão, Morita appeared at the far post to compete for the ball with Frimpong, gaining the upper hand and opening the scoring after just two minutes of play.

Both Trincão and Geny Catamo tested Kewin Silva, Moreirense FC's goalkeeper, in the following minutes, before Morita headed wide off a free kick delivered in by Pedro Gonçalves.

Goal number two arrived on 23 minutes: An excellent play by Amorim's men on the right saw Geny Catamo serving up the ball to Trincão. He provided the assist for Pedro Gonçalves in the heart of the area, and the attacker scored for the 13th time in 2023/2024 -his 8th goal in Liga Portugal action.

After half an hour of play, Viktor Gyökeres dribbled past his marker and shot, but it was deflected out for a corner. On the next move, after great confusion in the area, Nuno Santos appeared with a strong, well-placed shot, but Kewin Silva responded with a tremendous save onto the post.

The game lost some intensity in the final minutes of the first half, with Moreirense FC shooting for the first time in the 43rd minute. At the other end, Gyökeres gave Pedro Gonçalves a chance to score again, but his shot was blocked.

At half-time, a 0-2 lead did not show the entirety of Sporting CP's dominance, with 10 shots and 73% possession.

As in the first half, Sporting CP started the second stanza by putting a ball in the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out because Trincão was offside from the initial shot by Gonçalves.

Shortly afterwards, off a well-worked attack, the ball went from left to right and Geny Catamo shot powerfully, but slightly over the crossbar.

Moreirense FC improved in the second 45 minutes, appearing much closer to their usual level of performance and reducing the control from Sporting CP. Nevertheless, opportunities near to Antonio Adán's goal continued to be very scarce. Madson Monteiro, on one of the home team's rare shots, missed the target from long distance in the 65th minute.

Shots from Morten Hjulmand and Gyökeres followed, both efforts going high, then Amorim made the first change in the 82nd minute: Matheus Reis replaced Nuno Santos. In the 89th minute, it was Hidemasa Morita and Pedro Gonçalves who were withdrawn to introduce Daniel Bragança and Marcus Edwards.

There was still time in the third minute of stoppage time, for Gyökeres to isolate Trincão, but Kewin Silva pushed the ball out for the corner, whilst Moreirense FC were denied a consolation goal as Maracás headed wide before the final whistle.

Sporting CP will now host Swiss side BSC Young Boys on Thursday, in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 play-off.

Sporting CP: Antonio Adán [GK], Eduardo Quaresma, Sebastián Coates [C], Gonçalo Inácio, Geny Catamo, Morten Hjulmand, Hidemasa Morita (Daniel Bragança, 89'), Nuno Santos (Matheus Reis, 82'), Francisco Trincão, Pedro Gonçalves (Marcus Edwards, 89') e Viktor Gyökeres.