Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
0-0 at HT
A very cagey first half showing the reason why this Ukrainian side got much better results away from home so far in Europe than when they play home. This is a side made to play on the counter, full of technically very gifted and very fast players so it's definitely not an easy duck.
Having said so Sporting is playing well, defending almost perfectly and here and there going upfront with some intent even if not creating any clear goal chance so far. We are not playing fast enough, maybe because the two players that should be more responsible for doing so, Izmailov and Capel, are playing clearly below their normal physical capacities, as both were in doubt of starting tonight. Adding to that the poor game Schaars is having so far and we can easily understand why we haven't been really menacing Metalist.
We need Carrillo and maybe even Jeffrén but it's also important not to leave any holes in what has been a really good defensive display from our side. I would be happy with a 1-0 from what I've seen so far.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”