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Saturday, 10 September 2011 22:03

Sporting come back from the dead to earn first Liga win

Benfica close gap at table top

EliasWith just 15 minutes of the game remaining and losing 2-0 at Pacos de Ferreira tonight, Sporting were staring down the barrel of a full-blown crisis. But three quick goals turned it around for the Lions, with Domingos Paciencia saying at the end of the game “I believe it was precisely this sort of match that my players needed.”
Earlier in the evening Benfica had beaten Vitoria Guimaraes 2-1 at the Estadio da Luz. Oscar Cardozo scored two of three penalties awarded to Benfica in the first half. The Eagles withstood late pressure from the visitors after Edgar’s goal had given Vitoria hope. 

Pacos de Ferreira 2-3 Sporting

Domingos Paciencia made radical changes after Sporting’s desperately disappointing start to the season, giving record signing Elias and fellow new boy Insua their debuts, Bojinov and Pereirinha their first starts, and recalling Rodriguez, Onyewu and Rinaudo.
The wholesale changes did not have an immediate effect, with the hosts starting the match looking far more dangerous and taking a 5th-minute lead. Rodriguez’s interception from a low cross was interpreted as a back-pass by the referee who blew the whistle for an indirect free kick when Rui Patricio picked up the ball. Michel made the most of the opportunity, flashing an unstoppable shot into the back of the net with his left foot.
Having been on the back foot for the first 15 minutes, Sporting gradually began to dominate possession and push the hosts back. Pereirinha, the biggest surprise in Sporting’s new-look team, fully justified his inclusion with some enterprising wing play, linking up well with Joao Pereira on the right flank. Schaars headed over from an inviting Pereirinha cross, then the Dutchman swung a free kick onto the bar, before a poor touch from Elias allowed Cassio to dash out of goal and smother a chance when clean through.
Not that Pacos had abdicated to attack. The home team were happy to play on the counter for the remainder of the half, and in truth Luis Miguel’s team were closer to scoring a second than conceding an equaliser, as twice livewire Michel was only denied by two brilliant reaction saves from Rui Patricio.

Michel impresses

It would therefore be wrong to say it was a surprise when Pacos doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half. Sporting’s chronic inability to defend high crosses was again exposed as Michel beat Rodriguez to the ball to powerfully head in Manuel Jose’s well delivered cross. The Brazilian striker was a thorn in Sporting’s side all night long. What he lacks in speed he more than makes up for in a potent combination of skill and power, and he looks to be an excellent signing for the Castores.
As has been the norm this season, Domingos used up all his three substitutions with plenty of the match remaining. Izmailov came on from Schaars (another flat display) at half time, and Diego Rubio and van Wolfswinkel entered the fray early in the second half, replacing Pereirinha and Bojinov respectively.
But unlike in previous games, all three substitutes played a crucial role in changing the course of the match. Rubio’s aggressive chasing and youthful zest freshened up the front line, and it was the Chilean’s strong run that drew a foul from Nuno Santos that earned the left-back a second yellow card and consequent red. It proved to be the turning point.

Izmailov triggers comeback

Pacos were still trying to reorganise at the back when Izmailov latched onto a loose ball and pulled a goal back with a low shot that found the net with the aid of a deflection off Andre Leao. The equaliser came just three minutes later as Rinaudo played a fine chipped pass to Elias, who confidently stroked the ball past Cassio. Sporting were now pouring forward and on 83 minutes Ricky van Wolfswinkel produced a clinical finish from an Insua cross to put Sporting ahead.
The final whistle triggered effusive celebrations among Sporting’s players and coaching staff and Domingos will finally feel he has something to build on. But the coach will realise much improvement is needed if Sporting are to challenge for silverware this season.
[1-0] Michel, 5
[2-0] Michel, 55
[2-1] Izmailov, 75
[2-2] Elias, 78
[2-3] van Wolfswinkel, 83


Benfica 2-1 Vitoria Guimaraes

Benfica warmed up for their Champions League clash against Manchester United on Wednesday with a hard-earned but deserved home win against Vitoria Guimaraes. The main talking point after the match will inevitably focus on referee Duarte Gomes, who awarded three penalties to the hosts.
Jorge Jesus made three changes to the side that had beaten Nacional, dropping Aimar and Nolito to the substitutes’ bench, who were replaced by Bruno Cesar and Saviola respectively, and recalling the fit-again Garay, who resumed his centre-back partnership with Luisao.
Benfica have played some swashbuckling football at times this season, but only brief flashes of that was seen in Lisbon tonight. A poor first half was enlivened by three penalties, the first of which was clear-cut, the second one of which was a difficult call to make, and the third of which was extremely harsh on the visitors. Oscar Cardozo beat goalkeeper Nilson on each occasion, but his second penalty did not beat the crossbar, meaning that the hosts went into the break two goals to the good.

The second half saw a marked improvement in the quality of football played by both sides, most notably when Nuno Assis and Pablo Aimar came off the bench to add their artistry to the occasion. Saviola missed a great chance to put the game to bed shortly after the break, and Edgar Silva’s 63rd-minute goal, scored with the aid of a rare Artur blunder, only served to notch up the anxiety levels among the vast majority of the big crowd.
Vitoria pinned Benfica back for 15 uncomfortable minutes following the goal, but Jorge Jesus’ men recomposed themselves and saw out the remaining minutes with little alarm. Gaitan forced an excellent save out of Nilson, while late substitute Matic came on for his habitually impressive cameo.

After three straight wins the stage is set for a big night on Wednesday as the Estadio da Luz will host the next chapter in one of Europe’s classic rivalries: Benfica v Manchester United.
[1-0] Cardozo, 34 (pen)
[2-0] Cardozo, 45 (pen)
[2-1] Edgar, 64
Tom Kundert

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Comments (22)
Feel the love
22 Tuesday, 13 September 2011 00:08
Thanks Tiago.
I really do appreciated the thought and comment.
Sad, but always looking for validation, whether its in agreeing or even disagreeing.
For all the complaining, this site actually forces me to be more thorough. When I'm not, I get called out.
That's a good thing.
21 Monday, 12 September 2011 23:09
NJ I appreciate your comment. You dont take my accusations as serious as other people. About the Moutinho incident I was just trying to prove that Moutinho is an incredible midfielder. From your comment it made it seem as though Moutinho was garbage and Aimar was miles beyond him. But anyways appreciate the debate we had and no hard feelings. By the way some of your comments on NT news are spot on, and incredibly detailed, so keep up the comments on NT posts, I love to read them lol
I can't believe that people still use others names
20 Monday, 12 September 2011 13:09
Bryan/SCB, I just saw your post, relating to post #13.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
Let me add that I get your passion for Braga, but you could do better than just attack Benfica.

As for people pretending to be others or having multiple "names" it's sad. You should be able to stand by your opinions. Your name/tag should be valuable to you.
Plenty disagree with me, and that's great. It makes me go back and review my opinion and learn.
Tiago blasted me for saying Moutinho isn't as good as perceived, and I went and looked it over. It showed my bias vs Sporting and former Sporting players. I still feel that he's more a product of the players around him, just not as harshly as before.

By the way;
There were a ton of yellows and players getting sent off in the other matches. I'm sure plenty of Prsesidents were screaming foul, yet only the Big 3 get the love/hate.

The league is actually shaping up to be very interesting. The next few weeks could shake things up further, due to Champions and Europa Leagues.
19 Monday, 12 September 2011 12:30
Bubba, thank you.
I actually apologize for reacting to some comments instead of just offering an opinion.
It actually gives Bryan a tiny little bit of relevance, although he brings absolutely nothing to the table.
Happy to see he's become mostly irrelevant on this site.

People have to realize that we are a selling league, and South Americans sell. Take a look at the SPL that doesn't sell well. They are a dying league with two big teams that are getting worst due to the level of competition.
Last time I checked, every team in Portugal is loaded with foreigners.

I also wanted to add that I was disapointed in not seeing Rodrigo get a run in this game. Saviola missed a sitter, which has become the normal instead of exception.

I'm still amazed at Sportings come back. Let me add that if this was a home game, I don't think they could have come back. Sportinguistas would have really come down on the team if they were home. I didn't see it, and although it was probably a pro Sporting crowd, the 2,896 attendance has to be disapointing. Sporting should be drawing more people on away matches. Especially against the P. Ferreira's of the league.
I just find it ironic though
18 Monday, 12 September 2011 11:31
Last year Benfica fans went crazy on Carlos Xistra but this year they have been given 3 penalties in 15 minutes and dont find that fishy?! Give me a break. The 2 and 3 penalties werent even penalties.
I didnt write that post # 13
17 Monday, 12 September 2011 11:23
Although i disagree strongly with Orlando and NJ I dont think either of them are idiots. The only person I think is severely challenged is SLBTILLDEATH. The person imitating me still has more research to do LOLZ!

Good effort though!
Benfica vs Guimaraes
16 Monday, 12 September 2011 04:39
Any referee that awards a penalty when the ball hits someone in the head from 2 metres away has to be questioned, absolute disgrace to see 3 penalties in a half of football with only one being somewhat a clear penalty.The 3rd was an absolute joke, even the Benfica players looked confused as to why it was awarded a penalty.

I think someone had big money on this game to end with Benfica 2 goals in front at HT.

If this had happened in a Porto or Sporting game it would be headline news in abola and other jornais.
Very True
15 Monday, 12 September 2011 02:18
NJ, loved your line here, "If you want true "national" clubs move to the Basque region". Very true, as they only play Basques.

Anyways, looking forward to the upcoming matches in Europe, will be rooting for all our clubs.
this site still fails..
14 Monday, 12 September 2011 00:30
i only came back here to get ronaldos amazing pass video and the same crap still goes on here LOOOL

first, its people ALWAYS coming here to talk about benfica instead of looking at the most corrupted team in european futebol...or the sinking ship that had to get a player red carded in order to make an 'amazing comeback'

second, first and third were penalties anyone blind could've seen, second was hard to call i wouldn't give that one either if it was me. Like really i guess its hard to see both ways when PDC is covering the other teams side LOL

third, when people grow up to see things both ways then we can have an actual talk.. Bryan still goes on about the whole benfica is horrible talk lol how long has that kid been going on about?

fourth, i do respect some people here that just comment on how the game was and nothing more nothing less, a true reviewer you guys should learn from

fifth, that madrid guy so your saying if you were a doctor and you had a benfica fan injured, you'd rather he died? your such a simple minded person...What does the ref saying he's a benfica fan have to do with his job? Typical guys you have nothing else to talk about so you bring up this bs that he was selected for this game and the penalties were all fake just so benfica could win LOOOOL sad really..IF there are ANY AMOUNT of penalties that SHOULD be called, then there can be 10 or however is needed to be called :S

lastly, i'm ashamed for even writing this for it wont do any good and you guys will just continue to do the same thing over and over...like salazar, tunneis, 5LB, no wonder our league never goes anywhere lol.

Well luckily for me i can read so i stick to abola now, have fun lmao!
NJ be quiet
13 Sunday, 11 September 2011 23:40
NJ your comments are annoying just be quiet honestly Oh and Orlando its funny how you say all penalties were rightly called just like that idiot JJ, and how Benfica clearly won. You guys had 3 penalties, on home soil and only one 2-1 against Guimaraes? LOLZ I wud be embarrassed if I were you, cant wait untill that game with Manchester
Miguel you make some points..
12 Sunday, 11 September 2011 22:36
The only time you have ever heard me criticize a Porto player is when they dive or do some gregarious.

I have been very clear that I admire many of the current Porto squad and the club itself has been doing a bang up job. I have cheered many times for Porto.

The difference is that by the sounds of your post which I won't compare to Bryan's is your intentions are different.

Now I can appreciate it sounds like all Benfiquistas are calling out your team at times.. but the truth is it is a minority, they just are louder. Just because a few crack heads in the media go at you please do not tear up the rest of it for it. I certainly don't do it to all Porto fans. I argue with specific fans including my own on a post by post basis. I have my bad days like everyone else but I try to encourage conversation even if I disagree with a person.

As for my comment about a surgeon, I don't remember saying the teams employed them, maybe I didn't make myself clear enough. I was talking about professionals in general.

But if a Benfiquista surgeon got a Porto player on his table he would like most act like a professional and do his job, and that is what I was implying. Just because they are Befiquistas does not mean they are cheats no more than a Portista. That was my point.

This partizan stuff really bothers me at times.

We know we have issues with Refs in Portugal but to blame it strictly on team colours I think is serious. Fact is the top 4 teams get the benefit of the doubt in every league on the planet. It is called group think and is a cognitive bias. Unfortunately it seeems like Portugal is much worse than other leagues at their levels.

As for Bryan he is free to do what he wants under this sites moderation.

I was clearly speaking from my perspective only, since I am one of the few visitors that actually takes him serious.

His last bunch of posts are all to do with starting crap instead of actually arguing the specific calls or even issues.

At least your comments Miguel although meant to disparage were constructive.

His weren't in my personal opinion.
Big 2 keep rolling and 3rd exhales
11 Sunday, 11 September 2011 21:56
All refs stink and are against "insert your favorite team here".

All being said and done, I believe that it was Porto who got penalized (no matter how little) for bribing refs. Correct?
I believe that Benfica hasn't.
Go back and take a look at the calls.

As for the stupid "young south American doctor", please go take a look at all the squads.
It's silly to say Benfica is all foreigners when all other squads are the same.
If you want true "national" clubs move to the Basque region.

Wow, where did it come from. A fantastic and much needed win for Sporting.
Duarte Gomes should be fired
10 Sunday, 11 September 2011 21:14
Simply put.
9 Sunday, 11 September 2011 18:19
Sorry not to come here discuss football played inside the pitch. Sorry to come here to talk about habits that some other clubs loves to talk to excuse themselves from the failures sometimes, but everything has limits.

I was thinking to myself and remembered the first game of this season at Guimaraes, few few weeks away. Porto won with a penalty (well appointed) converted by Hulk. It was a scandal. Porto had bought the referee. Porto could only beat Guimaraes with a bad call from the referee. Porto keep their old habits of buying victories. Two sports newspapers put on frontpage that a scandal happened in Guimaraes.
I was surprised that today there is an apparent silence everywhere (apart from the neutral review from Tom here, very rare on portuguese football).

As Bryan said (with an interview link), Duarte Gomes is a benfiquista.
Nothing against it, everyone has their preferences but declare it while in functions is proof that certain things have different treatments depending on the club color. What should think a free spirit after reading the interview with Duarte Gomes, about the three penalties in 10 minutes, two of them very unreliable and leading one of the teams to victory?
What if Duarte Gomes was a portista and pointed the same penalties under the same conditions for Porto? Portista or sportinguista or braguista, whatever!
I repeat, fortunatly no ref admitted to be Porto fan otherwise it would be immediately banned, even if he had done good work.

According with Jorge Jesus, they were all well pointed. But few few weeks before he cried in all media that Porto was being helped with the penalty in Guimaraes. Of course the fanatic nation goes after it and does not question or think about it. Fortunately such referee never said in any interview that is a Porto fan and socio!

And then also funny is the fact of some boring and partial monologues by some prestigious benfica supporters, owners of the truth and the universe. By the densenty and the tendency (and a vacuum of neutrality) almost reminds me of the speeches of Salazar, Reagan or Fidel Castro. Sometimes is so ridiculous that I doubt that anyone in their right mind believe it. The angles, the wind, the force of gravity, everything and anything to apologize and guilty the rivals.

Orlando Mac pearl:
"But they have a job to do like any other.. a Benfica surgeon is still going to fix the leg of a Porto player.. it is their job not a trivial matter."

First of all, the football clubs also hire and have in their squads surgeons now? The Benfica one should be a south american 17 year old prodigy surgeon, after the last one fail the recovery of Mantorras for ten years.

Seriously speaking now, really? You want to compare the ref job with a surgeon? Really? Keep this strong position to the future! I would love that the ref of wednesday admitted he's a Man U. I would love to see him point two penalties against Benfica, should be funny. I would love to know then the position of benfiquistas who now believe in the professionalism of the refs like Duarte Gomes but sometimes shout and point the finger at referees for their failures and miseries. Funny or sad? Passion or blindness? Bipolarity or stupidity?

I know this comparison is a very strong, bad taste and completely out of this level, but I see no other way for such blindness. Since they spoke on the work of surgeons; Why doctors can not treat their own family?
I hope nobody is thinking that is because they belong to different clubs...
8 Sunday, 11 September 2011 13:19
all i can see is porto will hammer benfica!!!
FORCA PORTO 5-0???? hahahaha SLB FDP
7 Sunday, 11 September 2011 12:53
Good to get the 3 points by the end, but should've been more comfortable than it turned out to be. It's a little worrying how often we are taking the foot off the gas after getting into the lead. The bigger teams will punish this. Artur, despite making some good stops in recent matches, is still not keeping clean sheets, and should't have been beaten by that shot. I still think Eduardo would offer more clean sheets to the team.

Defense is still clearly our big problem, particularly a bad tendecy in allowing teams to cross into the box. And next up is Man United, who are the undisputed "crossing kings"...if we allow them to cross into our box so easily we could really suffer. I hope JJ will put a big emphasis on this issue before the match. I would still prefer Capdevila at left back, his experience in huge match atmospheres is second to none, and would be very useful to the team. What was the point of signing him, if he was not even going to be played.

It seems nothing ever comes easy to our club, and this is what makes it the more interesting being a fan LOL!! All in all I think JJ has done well in the early part of the season to integrate all the new players and create a winning mentality. But in my opinion, he is making the wrong call for the positions of goalkeeper and left back. Or maybe I will be proven wrong...Time will tell!
What is Pdc doing?
6 Sunday, 11 September 2011 06:48
I can't believe PDC, he must be bribing referees to give our opposition some chance of keeping in touch with FCP! The man has lost his mind!
Happy for Sporting..
5 Sunday, 11 September 2011 06:27
Game started out poorly for Sporting but in the end had a miraculous comeback.

It will take time to unite all these new bodies.. so have some paciencia folks..

As for the Benfica game.. I disagree.. Nolito from all reports was not up to full fitness and the reason for him sitting is the huge match with Manu U.. I think also that was the reason Aimar was sat even though he has been playing exceptionally for the most part this year.

Although not sure why we should be subjected to the highlight reel of Saviola's demise constantly ad nausem. Funny how Benfica owns the property rights to two of the worlds most talented juniors yet they never get any minutes. Guess we have to wait till January to see them loaned out and playing (Rodrigo & Oliveira). Here's an idea why not bench the floudering fish and play the young ones next to Cardozo?

Also Artur who I like has made a few big mistakes each costing us goals.. yet Eduardo does not get a minute. Also by all reports Emerson is better than Capedevila although every performance is to the contrary. I will reiterate I hate the diving Spaniard but he has yet to dive in Benfica Red and he defends better than this guy by leaps and bounds, fortunately for us Peixoto refused to play that position this year or else we would be seeing worse.

Overall it was a decent game team looked strong without committing too much before the next big game.

Bryan your comments have become not worthy of comment: What a shocker to have a Ref a fan of a squad in a country that is predominately 3 team support and half of that support being for that same team you claim one ref was a fan of...?

The odds on the absurdity of your comments are beyond belief, because the chances that there are no refs that support Benfica is absolutely zero. I am sure there are at least 5 or 6 that used to.. if not more. But they have a job to do like any other.. a Benfica surgeon is still going to fix the leg of a Porto player.. it is their job not a trivial matter.

Now your claim is that he was cheating.. now Tom clearly stated: "the first of which was clear-cut, the second on which was a difficult call to make, and the third of which was extremely harsh on the visitors."

You can catch some of the highlights here:


All the rest you can find here:


I watched the game in high def and that second was much more clear cut than this replay on a small screen. It struck his arm and the direction of the ball shows that clearly.

The questionable one was the third penalty and there was a great angle from behind the net that they showed during the game that shows the defenders bicep moves when the ball glances off his arm before the ball strikes his head.

Now I don't blame the ref the lesson to any defender is to not make it so easy on the ref to make the call.

By lunging your arms out at the ball.. you clearly leave little choice to the arbitrator and it was clearly done by both players on both the 2nd & 3rd penalty. Whether the penalty was clear is different the arm waving was clear.

If the ref is caught behind the play you sticking your arms out will lead to an almost automatic call when the ball is redirected in similar trajectories to your arms.

In this case with quick return shots like these it made it hard for the ref but I believe on both cases the right call was made.

Although these aren't the best angles by any means.. the live game had them.

Bryan in closing if you continue to post the nonsense like this Ref link instead of directly commenting on the game I will stop entertaining your comments.

Now I disagree with Tom on the last one as it is clear the player closes his eyes flails with his arms and his head extended hoping for the best.. it grazed his arm.. which he deliberately was attempting to to block the ball with his arms. That is hand to ball and is a penalty..

It was clear Vitoria's defenders were attempting that all night.. they got caught and had to pay.. if not for the flukey frango there was no game.. Benfica clearly won.

If not for Gaitan's wastefulness and Nilson's great saves it wouldn't have been close. The foot was clearly off the gas most of the second half.

Now my point is there is no need for propaganda pieces we all know how the media is back home and the amount of crap that is posted. If you disagree with the call then do so, point out some replays.. do something constructive.
benfca fan
4 Sunday, 11 September 2011 02:42
i watched the game and the 1st and the 3rd penalty were right you cant put your body out like that to save a shot the 2nd one was a bit harsh so all you haters shut up
3 Sunday, 11 September 2011 02:37
VdG was making some serious headway today against Benfica. The goal may have been an Artur blunder, but there were 3 defenders that didn't help him out in that particular situation.

VdG were also taking unnecessary risks and fouling all over the pitch. I'm not sure that the 2nd one should have been a penalty at all, but IMO the first and 3rd were fine. There were a couple yellows that looked more orange to me from VdG - Benfica also got a few cards.

In short, tonight looked more like a game of Go Fish.

Benfica needs to find its defense before MUFC comes knocking, otherwise it's just going to be silly.
Finalmente something good from Sporting
2 Saturday, 10 September 2011 22:48
Benficas game;3 penalties in 45 minutes is always suspicious and when the ref has admited to being a Benfica fan in the past... it makes the situation worse...

Great Win
1 Saturday, 10 September 2011 22:45
Great character and team building win. Paciencia is 100% right, this was the kind of game and win that the team needed. They persevered and were relentless in attack and it payed off.

The score up until Sporting scored was misleading in regards to what was actually happening on the pitch because Sporting had the vast majority of possession and made the most chances even when they were down 2-0. However, as has been the case so far this season, regardless of effort, they have just been unlucky. Schaars had a screamer of a direct kick that bounced off the crossbar that missed by a hair. It was sickening to watch.

I was very despondent because no matter how hard they tried, things just wouldn't go their way. Then the floodgates opened and in three minutes, they scored three goals in pretty quick succession. Nice goal by Elias, but the pass from Insua that resulted in Wolfswinkel's goal was fantastic. I was very happy to see Insua starting in place of Evaldo, I hope and expect it stays this way. Insua showed great instincts going forward and was very fluid. On a funny side note, it was hysterical to see the imposing Onyewu towering over the diminutive Caetano throughout the game.

I can see the team starting to gel and build their own identity. After the second goal, they just had the attitude that they were going to score again. I am not concerned that they are 7 points behind Porto in the table standings, I just want Sporting to put blinders on, not care about what the other teams are doing and just take care of themselves. Again, a great effort and a great win and now Paciencia has some good forward momentum and positivity to build on.

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