Sporting open with draw against Vitória despite Sporar double


Vitória Guimarães and Sporting CP played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on a night of poor goalkeeping and 44 fouls in northern Portugal.

The hosts’ young English winger Marcus Edwards, a product of Tottenham’s academy, had the game’s first half-chance after five minutes.

He cut in on his left foot and saw his shot deflected just wide by the Lions’ aging French centre half Jeremy Mathieu.

Valerii Bondarenko then spurned a free header on the six-yard line, as Vitória continued to control the opening exchanges – but it was Sporting who were gifted the opening goal in the 18th minute.

Guimarães goalkeeper Douglas tried to nonchalantly chest down an over-hit pass outside of his penalty area, but made a complete mess of controlling the ball and instead teed up pressing forward Andraz Sporar to roll it into the empty net from inside the ‘D’.

Another goalkeeping error helped to tie the scores for Ivo Vieira’s boys after 32 minutes though.

The visitors’ Luis Maximiano misplaced a pass straight to Joseph Amoah, who drove into the box and squared for João Carlos Teixeira to make it 1-1 with a simple finish.

Rúben Amorim’s men improved in the latter stages of a feisty first half, which saw five yellow cards and 24 fouls, but Luciano Vietto saw the Lisbon side’s best chance to restore their lead tipped over by Douglas on the break.

Seven minutes after the interval, Sporting did make it 2-1, again through Sporar.

The Slovakian striker bagged his second goal of the night when he sprung the offside trap, rounded the wildly sliding keeper and again rolled the ball into an empty net.

It was initially ruled out for offside on the field, but the decision was overruled by VAR after an unnecessary two-minute delay; he was onside by only seven centimetres, but it was clear from one replay that the linesman had got it wrong.

But as in the first half, the visitors from Lisbon couldn’t hang on to their lead, this time allowing Edwards to pounce for Vitória’s second equaliser in the 68th minute.

He latched on to Davidson’s deflected, looping through ball with a neat touch before smashing into the roof of the net from around ten yards, helped by the goalkeeper’s slow reactions off his goal line.

Guimarães were reduced to ten men with thirteen minutes remaining, when Amoah, on his first appearance of the season, was show an obvious second caution for a late trip on Jovane Cabral.

Sporting twice came close to a late winner. First Cabral planted a free, close-range header straight at Douglas, before Rafael Camacho struck millimetres over the bar after a solo run.

But the hosts hung on to earn a deserved draw, which sees them climb to sixth and within two points of a Europa League place; Sporting stay fourth.


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