Portuguese Report: Sporting Take Out Setubal
Vitoria Setubal - Sporting Lisbon | Latest News | News Archive
A standing ovation for Sa Pinto
01/04/2003. Sporting Lisbon kicked off the New Year with a welcome 2-1 victory in Setubal.
The Lions were without the injured Mario Jardel and Marian Niculae and had to look to other players to provide offence. Manager Laszlo Boloni was satisfied with the victory. "Setubal are hard to beat at home, but in the end we were the better team and deserved the victory."
Vitoria Setubal took a shock lead in the 24th minute after Mario Carlos tapped in a fumbled cross. Rui Lima delivered a cross from the left flank, Sporting keeper Tiago tried to punch clear but the ball rebounded off Setubal striker Rui Miguel and fell right to Mario Carlos who was left with a simple finish. Mario Carlos appeared to be in an offside position, but the play happened so quickly that it was undetected by the linesman, a tough break for Sporting.
The Lisbon Lions enjoyed most of the possession but couldn't finish their chances. Wonder kid Ricardo Quaresma repeatedly terrorized the Setubal defense but keeper Pedro Espinha was in sparkling form. Setubal's defense was extremely vulnerable early on until Portuguese International Fernando Nelson was brought on to stabilize the shaky back-line.
Mario Carlos nearly got his second goal early in the second half. The chance came off a quick Setubal counter attack in which Carlos left Pablo Contreras for dead and cut inside the box but blasted it just over the bar, a great individual effort.
Sporting equalized a minute later after Valery Kutuzov was brought down just outside the Setubal area. Rui Jorge equalized off a free-kick that whistled into the left corner of the goal.
Setubal employed a man marking system on Joao Pinto and allowed him little time and space to orchestrate the Lions' attack. Manager Laszlo Boloni noticed Pinto's ineffectiveness and substituted him for the highly rated youngster Cristiano Ronaldo.
Tiago may have come up with the save of the early New Year in the 75th. Rui Lima ripped in a teasing cross that was volleyed first-time by Rui Miguel, but Tiago managed to tip the blast over the bar and prevent what looked a sure goal.
The save would be rewarded minutes later as Hugo Alancarta brought down Ricardo Quarema in the box. Pedro Barbosa converted the penalty as he sent Pedro Espinha the wrong way.
Sporting focused more on defending and it nearly cost them as Hugo Costa climbed above the Lions' defense only to head the Rui Lima cross straight into the arms of Tiago, he should have scored.
Cristiano Ronaldo picked up an ankle injury in the 84th and was substituted for defensive midfielder Paulo Bento. The injury appeared to be serious, as he had to be assisted off the pitch. Shortly after, Ricardo Quaresma had a goal called back for offside.
Sa Pinto received a standing ovation from both sets of fans when he was brought on for Tonito in the last five minutes. This was Sporting's last substitution and Kutuzov had to play through some pain after he crashed heavily into an ad board. Sporting were content to play out the remaining minutes and the ball remained bogged up in midfield until the final whistle.
Man of the Match: Setubal's Rui Lima. The ex-Boavista winger was unstoppable on the left side of the pitch as he whipped in countless crosses and evaded the Lisbon defenders seemingly at will.