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Photo by Isabel Silva, José Lorvão

Home win on return to Liga Portugal action

By Sporting CP
03 Mar, 2024

Sporting CP earn a 3-2 triumph at home against SC Farense

After defeating rivals SL Benfica in the Taça de Portugal in miweek, Sporting Clube de Portugal had a quick turnaround to return to league action, winning 3-2 against SC Farense, at home.

Without the injured Antonio Adán and Gonçalo Inácio, coach Rúben Amorim maintained Franco Israel in goal (featuring in Liga Portugal for the first time this season) and gave a return to the starting lineup for Jeremiah St. Juste (after three months out), Nuno Santos, Daniel Bragança and Ricardo Esgaio.

After a minute's silence was held in honour of Alexandre Baptista, a former Sporting CP player, the match began with the home team on the attack and building play patiently against their opponents' low block.

The movement upfield came mostly from the wings, and it was precisely from one of these advances that Sporting CP made it 1-0. After eleven minutes, following a cross from Esgaio, Bragança took advantage of a poor clearance by the defence and shot precisely to score.

Even after opening the scoring, Sporting CP continued to dominate, almost exclusively from the right side. They came very close to making it 2-0, first through St. Juste, who headed onto the post, then Talys Oliveira, who shot against the bar, and finally St. Juste again nodding wide.

After the warnings, the second goal arrived in the 29th minute. Following a beautiful combination, Viktor Gyökeres appeared at the near post to finish off Pedro Gonçalves' pass, scoring for the 32nd time this season.

Soon after, on 32 minutes, SC Farense reduced the deficit again through Belloumi.

Sporting CP were always playing very high up the pitch and enjoyed 75% possession of the ball in the first half. Marcus Edwards and Gonçalves once again threatened, with the latter coming close to scoring, but the slim advantage remained going into the interval.

Upon the restart, SC Farense looked more lively. Zé Luís shot against the bar, and a direct free kick followed in which Franco Israel was forced to apply himself to save both the strike and the rebound. Third time around, following the resulting corner, Zé Luís did not miss, heading to take the score to 2-2.

However, Sporting CP's response came just three minutes later. Off an attack from the right, Esgaio entered the area and set up Gonçalves, who only had to tap the ball in.

Eduardo Quaresma, Hidemasa Morita and Francisco Trincão were all brought on for a reshuffle to the Sporting CP side, followed by Paulinho.

The visitors found it difficult to attack in the final third due to the defensive solidity of Sporting CP, who continued searching for another goal. Trincão and Paulinho both had chances, although without success.

In the final stretch, with the game being played at a slower pace, SC Farense had more of the ball, but never managed to scare Franco Israel.

Sporting CP benefited from the last big chance of the game, with Bragança hitting an effort ont the top netting. The game ended 3-2 and took the team to 59 points for the season.

Now Sporting CP shift their focus to the UEFA Europa League on Wednesday,  in Alvalade, against Atalanta BC, in the first leg of the Round of 16.
Sporting CP: Franco Israel [GK], Jeremiah St. Juste (Sebastián Coates, 69'), Ousmane Diomande, Matheus Reis (Eduardo Quaresma, 54'), Ricardo Esgaio, Morten Hjulmand (Hidemasa Morita, 54'), Daniel Bragança [ C], Nuno Santos, Pedro Gonçalves (Francisco Trincão, 54'), Marcus Edwards (Paulinho, 78') and Viktor Gyökeres.