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Photo by Isabel Silva

Amorim: "We never lost control of the game"

By Sporting CP
29 Feb, 2024

The coach was satisfied after a 2-1 first leg win against SL Benfica

After Sporting Clube de Portugal's 2-1 victory over SL Benfica in the semifinals of the Taça de Portugal, coach Rúben Amorim analysed the derby in a press conference.

"We were always closer to scoring than SL Benfica, but it ended up being an advantage for us for the second leg. In the first half we were on top of the game, with good possession of the ball and aggression in our recovery. In the second half we fought back well and we never lost control of the game. SL Benfica got a goal without doing much, but then we balanced the game with many transitions -although we have to do better on our transitions. We were deserved winners, but we are midway through the tie," he began by telling journalists at the Auditorio Artur Agostinho.

Regarding the players' recovery for Sunday's game, the coach said that winning "helps", but that changes will be made.

"There are players who will not start in a game that will be very difficult. We already knew that this was going to be a very difficult run, and we're halfway through it. Everyone is going to have to play; we already knew that. It's a question of taking things day-by-day, game-by-game and hoping that there aren't any more injuries."

Going back to the victory over SL Benfica, Amorim admitted that Sporting CP could have achieved "a bigger advantage" but, at the same time, "we won a derby and have an advantage going into the second leg."

"We will be prepared. We always score goals and that will help. Now we have to focus on SC Farense," he added.

"The important thing was that, unlike the last derby here, we never lost control of the game. This team always want to score. We were very competent throughout the game and won fairly. We improved our ability to have the ball compared to the previous derby. At the Estádio da Luz , we played well in the first half, but we had some difficulties in reaching the opposition goal. This time we started better in the second half and no one was sent off, which makes a difference."

Regarding the goal disallowed against SL Benfica for offside, he was clear: "I'm not talking about refereeing and last week no one asked me about the foul on Pedro Gonçalves. I'll remain consistent on this."

Asked about Geny Catamo, he explained that the young Mozambican "has tactical knowledge and has what Porro also had, which is the ability to take players on, which is important," and he commented on the performances of Morten Hjulmand and Hidemasa Morita in midfield.

"They were very important. They played at a disadvantage, but they are very intelligent with and without the ball. When they start to physically break down the team drops in performance a little. But they complement each other well and they are good at set pieces. They put a lot of pace into the team, they help a lot of people. They had a huge influence and they had a great game," he concluded.