Can Sporting win the Europa League?

Rui Patricio

Sporting will need their best from Patricio if they have any hope of advancing.

Much was said about Sporting’s Champions League campaign and how well they played against the 3 other sides in their group. Home and away against Maribor, Chelsea and Schalke they performed very well and gave a fantastic account of themselves in each game. Their games were very entertaining, too, as you weren’t far away from a bundle of goals and even some controversy. They really were a breath of fresh air in the group stages of the Champions League and they showed that they can perform on the big stage. Continue reading

Free Kicks Give Portugal Win

Portugal 2-0 Ukraine

U-21 International

Two masterfully taken free kicks, one from Salvador Agra, and one from David Simao, earned the Portuguese Under-21 team a 2-0 friendly victory over Ukraine. The match was a promising one from the Under-21 team, with many opportunities in front of goal created.
The match started out quietly. The first chance of note came from the Portuguese side. Andre Martins juked out his marker, and played a wonderful through ball to the onrushing Wilson Eduardo. Eduardo could only shoot over, however. Portugal was dictating the play of the game, and although Ukraine had their chances, it was the Portuguese who looked the more likely to break the deadlock. Portugal did just that just before halftime. The team won a free kick about ten yards outside of the eighteen yard box. Salvador Agra, who had been a livewire up until this point, and Andre Martins were standing over the kick. Martins tapped the ball to Agra, who unleashed a wonderful shot that squeezed into the upper right-hand corner of Ukraine’s goal. It was a truly spectacular goal, and that was evident on Salvador Agra’s face. The teams went into the half with Portugal on top.

The second half was not nearly as interesting as the first half. As is the case with many friendly matches, Portugal Under-21 coach Rui Jorge made a number of substitutions, which disrupted the natural flow of the game. Luis Martins and Danilo Pereira, who both featured for the Portugal U-20 team at last summer’s U-20 World Cup, were both substituted in during the second half to make their debuts. As I stated earlier, the second half was dull, and the first chance for Portugal was a goal. Ludovic was brought down just outside the box. David Simao curled the ensuing free kick into the upper left hand corner to double Portugal’s lead to 2-0. That was how the game ended. The performance was that of confidence, and the team will surely try to build on this impressive performance.

Anthony Lopes(Mika), Cedric(Ivo Pinto), Joao Pereira, Pedro Mendes(Vitor Bastos), Ruben Ferreira(Luis Martins), Andre Martins(Danilo Pereira), Andre Almeida, Josue(Abel Camara), Salvador Agra(David Simao), Rui Fonte(Ludovic), Wilson Eduardo(Diogo Amado)


Portugal Gain Deserved Win

Portugal are through to the quarterfinals of the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup after a 1-0 win over minnows Guatemala. Portugal were overwhelming favorites coming into the match, and although the scoreline isn’t that impressive, Portugal dominated the match. As has been the case throughout this tournament, Cedric, Caetano, Nelson Oliveira, and Sergio Oliveira were the most impressive for Portugal, although there were no disappointing performers. Portugal started the match well, with Nelson Oliveira coming close. Cedric Soares then then made a run into the box, only to be brought down. The referee awarded the penalty and Nelson Oliveira converted it to make the score 1-0. Portugal continued their dominance in the first half, coming close several more times. In the second half, however, Portugal seemed more content to leave the score at 1-0.

Portugal will now meet Argentina in the quarterfinal. Argentina defeated Mexico controversially 2-1. All three goals scored in the match were penalties, with Argentina’s especially controversial. Portugal have a legitimate chance of overcoming their South American opposition.

Mika, Mario Rui, Cedric, Tiago Ferreira, Nuno Reis, Ricardo Dias(Pele), Sergio Oliveira, Danilo Periera, Alex(Rafael Lopes), Caetano(Roderick), Nelson Oliveira