Liga Portugal Bwin: Portimonense 2-3 Sporting Lisbon
Despite Sporting’s encounter with Portimonense last Saturday evening losing some of its competitive edge by virtue of Porto securing this season’s title in the earlier clash with Benfica, the two teams still delivered an entertaining and, at times, high quality match.
In front of almost 4,000 fans, the Algarveans initially struggled to get out of their own half and Sporting were duly rewarded for their possession when ex-Portimonense player Bruno Tabata put the Lisbonites one up following some good work from former Tottenham junior Marcus Edwards.
However, with 25 minutes on the clock, parity was restored when a Carlinhos free kick was deflected into the back of the net.
On the half-hour mark, Welinton Júnior then intercepted an Inácio pass and bore down on goal before lobbing the exposed Adán in the Sporting goal to make it 2-1. The end-to-end action continued until the interval, Adán saving well from Nakajima, while Tabata headed against the Portimonense crossbar prior to a great Samuel stop from Porro.
Samuel again excelled following the restart, keeping out Edwards, but then substitute Sarabia proved the match winner for the visitors with two strikes in quick succession to leave Sporting on top.
Manager Paulo Sérgio, who is close to agreeing a new contract in Portimão, will now take his team to Madeira for the last fixture of the current playing period against Marítimo.
For once, with nothing to play for at this stage, the Algarveans can enjoy the luxury of leaning back and observing struggles elsewhere, with Tondela (27 points v Boavista), Moreirense (26 points v Vizela) and Belenenses SAD (25 points, at Arouca) involved in a three-way dog-fight for the two relegation and one play-off places.
By SKIP BANDELE