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Photo by José Lorvão

Amorim: "The timing of the goals made the difference"

By Sporting CP
15 Mar, 2024

The coach laments the elimination from the Europa League

After a 2-1 defeat for Sporting Clube de Portugal to Atalanta BC, which led to their elimination from the UEFA Europa League, coach Rúben Amorim held a press conference and began by explaining what motivated the substitution of Pedro Gonçalves shortly after scoring in the first half.

“Pedro felt some pain in his leg. He is in pain now, even when he is walking, it is likely a muscle injury. We will evaluate him and see how long he will be out. He knows that we are nine games away from the end of the season and one away from reaching the final of the Taça de Portugal. But given the form he is in, he knew he could be called up for the national team as well”, he told journalists in Bergamo, before analysing the loss.

“It's a night that didn’t go well for us. We had chances to score and we matched Atalanta's physicality. There was a lack of precision to reach the last third in the first half, but not in the second. We pushed up on the opponents. The moments in which the goals were scored made the difference. We conceded the second in our best phase of the game. We will be strong in the next match”, he promised.

Asked if anxiety had been the biggest reason for not taking advantage of their opportunities, the coach rejected the idea.

 “It can't be anxiety. Marcus [Edwards] perhaps even thought too much. Paulinho wanted to chip the ball, then Marcus struck it badly. We couldn't score and that's one of the big reasons why we were eliminated, as well as the timing of the goals. We can't concede the goal to make it 1-1 like that. The game would be totally different if they were at a disadvantage. We paid dearly for it. It wasn’t pressure, because we deal with that every day”.

Finally, the coach assured that “there is always something to take away from every game”.

“We have to grow in key moments of games. We are growing, but in a tie where we were ahead and comfortable, we cannot concede goals at the beginning of the second half. (…) We had the ability to progress and we couldn’t”.