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Photo by César Santos

Sporting CP, 37-Potaissa Turda, 28

By Jornal Sporting
22 May, 2017

Sporting CP secure crucial margin in the Challenge Cup final first-leg

Sporting CP are truly in the Challenge Cup driving seat, after mounting a 9-goal advantage in the first-leg against Potaissa Turda.

The opening stages were always going to be crucial and after just three minutes Bozovic set the tone with the first goal. Nikcevic levelled, before Sporting CP regained a lead that was never relinquished. In fact six minutes followed in which Potaissa Turda didn't find the back of the net even once, with the team from Alvalade pulling ahead 9-4. 

With 18 minutes on the clock Nikcevic, Portela and Bozovic had already done some serious damage and put Sporting CP 13-5 on top, before the Romanian visitors finally began to respond in the 28th minute when they were trailing 17-7. 

Sporting CP took an 8-goal lead in at the break (19-11), with some some fine attacking play against a Potaissa Turda side defending man-to-man. On 37 minutes Ruesga broke through the defence, before striking again in the 45th minute to contribute to Sporting CP's biggest lead of the game (31-19).

As the clock ticked down the team from Alvalade had the enviable task of managing the final result, with president Bruno de Carvalho watching on from the stands as his side secured an all-important lead going into the second-leg.

Photo by César Santos

"I am sure we will feel that happiness"

By Jornal Sporting
19 May, 2017

Bosko Bjelanovic one of four still at Alvalade from the 2010 winning side

Speaking with the press this week, Alvalade handball coach Bosko Bjelanovic did not hide his determination to bring the Challenge Cup back Lisbon once again.

"It has been seven years since our last European trophy [2010] and we know how difficult it has been, but I am sure we will feel that happiness again. I wouldn't say we are favourites, but I would say we want to win. We are unbeaten on our run to the final. Turda are physically a strong team and it won't be easy, but we have the quality to get the win", opened the Sporting CP handball star, adding a word on how he plans to get the better of  Turda: "We have to win by as many goals as possible at home. We know that just getting the win is the most important thing, but we want it to be a comfortable difference."


Photo by José Cruz

"I don't agree that we are favourites"

By Jornal Sporting
19 May, 2017

Hugo Canela dismisses the importance of his side's Challenge Cup unbeaten run

Speaking in a pre-match conference ahead of the Challenge Cup final first-leg, against Turda, Hugo Canela brushed off any idea of being the favourites to take home silverware.

"It will be a hard game and I don't agree that we are favourites. I think that is something the press has come up with, honestly. Turda are a really aggressive side and they will give us a hard time. It is nice that we haven't lost yet, but that don't win the title. All it has done is given us an opportunity", said the Alvalade coach, adding: "I have been with the club for a long time and pressure is part of being here. We have to be solid in defence and quick on the break. Attention to detail is massively important in these game and the result will be the consequence of that."

Photo by César Santos

"We were brilliant on the counter-attack"

By Jornal Sporting
29 Apr, 2017

Hugo Canela praises his side's inspired demolition of JMS Hurry-Up

The Sporting CP handball coach Hugo Canela couldn't hide his joy at inspiring his side to a dominating win against JMS Hurry-Up and a place in the Challenge Cup final.

"We did our job and were brilliant on the counter-attack. It was the culmination of a week of good work and the result shows that. We have achieved one of the objectives we had for this season and now we can dream about another one, which is winning this competition. The lads deserve the credit for what they did today", said Canela, continuing: "In the first-leg we had a game during the week, so we didn't have a lot of time to prepare. The fans really got behind us and we had a full week to get ready this time."

Photo by José Cruz

Sporting CP, 37-JMS Hurry-Up, 14

By Jornal Sporting
29 Apr, 2017

Sporting CP dominate in Lisbon after 32-27 win in the Netherlands

Sporting CP are in with a shot of claiming a second Challenge Cup, after cruising past the Dutch side JMS Hurry-Up by an expressive margin of 37-14. Sporting CP already held an advantage at the opening whistle after a 32-27 in the away le and the team from Alvalade had already pulled ahead 7-2 after just 10 minutes.

Built on an aggressive defence and an inspired Cudic in goal, Sporting CP kept up the pressure in attack and had opened up a 9 goal margin by the 18th minute (12-3), before pulling away again to reach half-time with a 21-7 lead.

With a place in the final all but secured, Hugo Canela made hte most of the opportunity to introduce Manuel Gaspar in goal. The first 10 minutes after the break were blistering, with Sporting CP going 27-8 with such an overwhelmingly dominant display that JMS Hurry-Up just could not resist.

The difference reached 20 goals 15 minutes from the final whistle (31-11), with the result closing at an almost unbelievable 37-14 to move Sporting CP one step closer to repeating the 2009/10 Challenge Cup silverware win.

Photo by César Santos

“Have to be at the top of our game"

By Jornal Sporting
28 Apr, 2017

Despite his side's five goal lead, Pedro Solha sees the Challenge Cup final as far from secured

Pedro Solha sat down with the press ahead of this weekend's Challenge Cup semi-final second-leg against JMS Hurry-Up this Friday, which sees his side carrying a five goal lead (32-27) from the first-leg.

“We are expecting a hard game, different to the one in the Netherlands. IF we look at Hurry-Up in the previous rounds, they always play better away from home. We are expecting them to fight hard for the result and we will have to be at the top of our game", said Pedro Solha, before issuing a rallying call for the fans to turn out in force.

Photo by César Santos

“We have been dreaming of reaching the final"

By Jornal Sporting
28 Apr, 2017

Hugo Canela warns of the difficulties in facing a wounded JMS Hurry-Up side

Sporting CP might hold a five-goal advantage (32-27) from the first-leg of the Challenge Cup played in the Netherlands last week, nonetheless coach Hugo Canela has warned his players to be cautious for this Saturday's reverse fixture.

“We are expecting a difficult game. Hurry-Up have come back from 10 goals down before, after winning the second-leg away by 12 goals. They threw everything forward and I am expecting them to do exactly the same thing tomorrow, so we have been working on that in training this week. They have nothing to lose, so it will be a hard game", said Canela, adding: "We have been dreaming of reaching the final since the start of the competition, but we still have a lot of work to do. We know that five goals is nothing in handball and we want to get through unbeaten."

Photo by D.R.

JMS Hurry-Up, 27-Sporting CP, 32

By Jornal Sporting
23 Apr, 2017

Sporting CP secure important first-leg win in the Netherlands

Sporting CP's handball stars secured an important in the Netherlands this weekend, beating JMS Hurry-Up 32-27 in the Challenge Cup semifinals.

The team form Alvalade led by a narrow 15-14 at the break, before pulling away after the break. In particularly brilliant form were Frankis Carol and Pedro Portela, netting give times each.

The second-leg will be held in Lisbon on the 29th of April, with a place in the Challenge Cup finals up for grabs.

Photo by César Santos

"This team likes the big events"

By Jornal Sporting
21 Apr, 2017

Luís Cruz looks ahead to the weekend's Challenge Cup visit to JMS Hurry-Up

Sporting CP will travel to the Netherlands this weekend for a Challenge Cup encounter against JMS Hurry-Up. Sporting CP assistant coach Luís Cruz was on hand this Friday to speak about the encounter. 

Analysing the opposition, Cruz affirmed: "They play safe in attack and make decisions that are pretty reliable. Defensively they are quite similar to the model we are used to in Portugal. It will be a tough place to go,  but I am going to be honest: this team likes the big events. We are the favourites in the Netherlands, but if we aren't on our game then it will be a whole lot harder."

"Objective was to win by as many as possible"

By Jornal Sporting
25 Mar, 2017

Hugo Canela praises his players for Saturday's dominating Challenge Cup showing against AC Doukas

Sporting CP put on a convincing performance in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals this Saturday, establishing a 12-goal lead ahead of the second-leg tomorrow against AC Doukas.

Coach Hugo Canela was understandably satisfied, peaking with radio journalists at the final whistle: "Our objective was to win by as many goals as possible and we played really well in defence, which let us go forward on the break and build up such a big lead in the first-half. The second-half could have been better, but it is normal. We came into this on the back of some tough games and we are still recovering a bit."


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