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Sunday, 19 February 2012 23:50

Sporting scrape to win over Pacos

Sporting 1-0 Pacos de Ferreira

Sa PintoRicardo Sa Pinto earned his first win as Sporting coach with a 1-0 victory at home to Pacos de Ferreira thanks to an own goal from Pacos defender Ricardo.
Sa Pinto made just one change to the team that earned a score-draw away to Legia Warsaw in midweek with the Europe-ineligible Elias replacing Matias Fernandez in midfield. Pacos de Ferreira, with five straight wins all competitions, came into the game as the in-form team of the two sides.
The home side enjoyed the greater of the possession to start with but were lacking in creativity going forward, with the ball spending most of the time in and around the centre circle.

Michel wastes chance

It was Pacos de Ferreira who in fact had the best chance early on after fifteen minutes when Brazilian forward Michel found himself in acres of room behind the Sporting defence. His shot though went just wide of Rui Patricio's right hand post and a golden opportunity for the away side was lost.
There was bad news for Sporting just before the half-hour mark when Oguchi Onyewu injured himself in a tackle and had to be replaced by Daniel Carrico.
Subsitute Carrico had an impact in the opening goal of the game when a Stijn Schaars freekick found its way into the net. Goalkeeper Cassio came to punch the cross but missed the mark and as Carrico made the challenge the ball bounced off the defending Ricardo and into his own goal.
The first half ended with little goalmouth action, just three shots in the entire first half but the home side were firmly on top in the possession stats with Sa Pinto's side controlling 70% of the ball.
After the restart the same pattern emerged with Sporting controlling the ball but once again Henirque Calisto's men were the first to have a chance on goal when Manuel Jose forced Rui Patricio into his first save of the game.

Penalty controversy

Referee Jorge Ferreira had his first major decision to make after 68 minutes when a Ricardo handball inside the penalty area led to a contentious spot kick. The decision was harsh on the defender who could do little to move his arm out of the way of the ball – it was simply not the Cape Verde defender’s night after having already scored an own goal.
The Pacos players were infuriated by the decision and it took a couple of minutes before the penalty could be taken. That extra delay may well have affected the outcome a, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, usually dependable from that range, hit a poor shot with no pace in a good area for Cassio to save. Replays showed that Cassio had come off his line to save it but the game continued
The perceived injustice seemed to rile Pacos and they soon came close to levelling the score when Rui Patricio was forced to make three saves in the space of a minute to deny the away side.
Sporting regained control of the match though and managed to see out the remainder of the game on top giving Ricardo Sa Pinto his first win as Sporting coach and keeping Sporting level on points with Maritimo in the table.
There will be concern ahead of the Europa League second leg against Legia Warsaw on Thursday at the possible injuries to Oguchi Onyewu and Fabian Rinaudo, who looked to have picked up a knocks that may keep them out of the tie against the Polish side.

Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Onyewu (Carrico, 27), Polga, Insua, Elias, Rinaudo (Andre Santos, 63), Schaars, Carrillo, Van Wolfswinkel, Izmailov (Pereirinha, 60)

[1-0] Ricardo, (o.g.) 36

by Richard Cole
Comments (4)
thank god
4 Monday, 20 February 2012 06:49
lol polga so glad this guy choose to play for sporting and not benfica
Good result!
3 Monday, 20 February 2012 02:56
Great for Sa Pinto's first game in charge at the Alvalade to be a win! The spirit of the team has definitely been boosted and is lifted again! With passion and belief you can create your own luck. The team still needs to get their cutting edge back in the final third of the field, but that will come soon, bit by bit the team will continue to grow. Whats important as well is that you pick up points and good results which they have been doing! Also I read that Diego Capel and Jeffren were recovered, so I can't wait for them to be back, because they will offer alot more attacking creativity! While I do like Onyewu as well, now that he got injured, Carrico should regain his starting spot which will be great. Carrico is a great defender/player on the whole and I agree with Jon he should start over Polga. Should always be Carrico and Onyewu, or Carrico and Rodriguez. Anyway now he'll definitely be starting the games, and I don't see him relinquishing his spot again from here on. Good to see Deigo Rubio on the bench as well! I'm not a fan of Sebastian Ribas, don't think we need him really, Diego Rubio is muchhh more talented! And I know Sa Pinto has a real eye for the true talents in Sporting so im sure he knows the real strikers of Sporting are Wolfwinkel, Rubio, and Betinho in that order! So overall good result! Picking up wins even when you're not playing at your best is a trait of all good teams and Im pleased with the results Sa Pinto has been getting for Sporting so far! Unfortunate for Wolfswinkel to miss that penalty. And once Capel and Jeffren are back in the starting line up the attacking creativity will be back to its best and Wolfwinkel will get some good supply and link up. Also good to see Andre Santos getting game time as well! Sa Pinto knows his stuff! All in all happy for Sporting! Let's keep it going and push on even more! This team has a bright future!
Huge Win
2 Monday, 20 February 2012 01:10
No Portuguese saviours in this one, huh.
In any case the most important thing was to get the win at home. Not sure how pleased the 28,000 were, but a good turnout nonetheless.
Polga over Carrico?
1 Monday, 20 February 2012 00:06
Why does Anderson Polga continue to start ahead of Daniel Carrico. I know that Carrico is still young, and far from a finished product, but he is definitely a better defender than Polga. Polga has plenty of experience, but he has never been more than an average player. Daniel Carrico and Alberto Rodriguez, in my opinion, are much better defenders.

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