Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
SPORTING 2-2 Atlético at HT
What a mad final minutes in this first half where the main characters were exactly the two men that could be seen as guilty for those two very soft goals conceded in this first half: Anderson Polga and Marco Caneira.
Caneira won a freekick upfront on the right flank in the first minute of added time. Miguel Veloso launches a lethal tense cross and Polga seems to slightly touch it with his head. 2-2. On the final second of added time Sporting piling up the pressure, good cross again from the right and Caneira hits the crossbar...but he was offside.
It was a very intense and exciting first 45' with Sporting starting poorly, clearly unstable in the back, where 3 of the 4 players are not regular starters. Quick goal by the Spaniards to start the game, something that could have killed us psychologically. However this Sporting is really different from that ghost that went through most of this season and the team reacted strongly and deservedly equalised through a superb move by Saleiro finished with class by Liedson. It is not only in the defense that we are missing players as probably one of the most missed so far is Izmailov - a player that never stops working, both in the attacking movements of the team but also in the defensive ones, and how he was missed so far in this game. Again a soft goal conceded by our makeshift central defense could have killed the team but far from that, it was Sporting that finished on top, equalised and could even have scored a 3rd right before the break.
We need to keep more the ball in the midfield if we don't want to go after the score again in this second half, so I would bring on Matías, perhaps for the place of Pereirinha who has been almost invisible.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”