Sporting CP, 37-Potaissa Turda, 28
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.