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Saturday, 05 January 2013 21:31

Paços pile more misery on Sporting

Sporting 0-1 Paços de Ferreira

Pacos Ferreira badge.gifSporting Badge.jpgA goal on the stroke of half time by Hurtado gave high-flying Paços de Ferreira a 1-0 victory against Sporting at the Alvalade tonight, accentuating the crisis afflicting the Lisbon club. Elsewhere there were wins for Olhanense at Rio Ave (0-1), and Académica at home to Vitória Setúbal (4-2), while Gil Vicente and Vitória Guimarães played out a goalless draw.

Sporting 0-1 Paços de Ferreira

Paulo Fonseca's Paços team came into the match having lost just once all season in 19 matches. While the Castores are quite possibly enjoying their best ever campaign, Sporting are undoubtedly enduring their worst in over 100 years of history.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of the 20,613 crowd at the Alvalade were hoping that the New Year would signal a turnaround in form for Sporting. Hopes were further raised as the hosts had plenty of possession and played some neat football in the opening stages. Marcos Rojo was much more comfortable at left-back than he has been in the centre of defence, while both Capel and Jeffren were making a nuisance of themselves down each flank.

Wolfswinkel forced Cassio into a sharp save and the hosts were unlucky not to see their pressure rewarded in the 33rd minute when Capel's diving header beat the Paços goalkeeper but rebounded into play after striking the post.

Although second best for the first half hour, Paços were far from overawed, and decent efforts from range by Antunes and Manuel José signalled a shift in the balance of play, with the visitors increasingly confident on the ball.

Incisive break

A beautifully orchestrated break gave the northerners the lead shortly before half time. Josué bore down on goal and slipped a delightfully weighted throughball to Hurtado, who took a couple of touches to steady himself before knocking the ball past Patrício and into the net.

Buoyed by their goal, Paços looked even more confident and composed in the second half, keeping Sporting at bay with relative ease. The impressive Josué was not far away from doubling Paços' lead with a firm 20-yard shot, which Patrício turned over for a corner.

At the other end of the pitch a Carrillo header and a couple of hopeful Cédric long-range efforts were all Sporting could muster, as another dismal night at the Alvalade ended with the fans renewing calls for president Godinho Lopes to resign.

Rui Patrício, Cédric (Esgaio, 88'), Xandão, Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Rinaudo, Adrien Silva (Viola, 71'), Pranjic, Jeffrén (Carrillo, 64'), Wolfswinkel, Capel

P. Ferreira:
Cássio, Diogo Figueiras, Tiago Valente, Ricardo, Antunes, Luiz Carlos, André Leão, Josué (Caetano, 89') Manuel José (Vítor, 73'), Angulo (Cícero, 62'), Hurtado

[0-1] Hurtado, 45'

Saturday round-up:

Académica started the match at home to Vitória Setúbal in the relegation zone, but a crucial victory sent the Students flying up to mid-table, while their adversaries went in the reverse direction, tumbling into the drop zone. The game was won in the opening half hour as a Cissé goal and an Edinho brace, all headers, put Académica 3-0 up.

Vitória threatened a heroic comeback in the second half as Cristiano and Meyong (from the penalty spot) cut the deficit to just one goal with ten minutes remaining, but Edinho completed his hat-trick with yet another header to give Académica their first home victory in the Liga since May.

Earlier in the afternoon Olhanense had also given their chances of survival a significant boost with a somewhat fortuitous victory at Rio Ave. The hosts had the better of a match of few chances, but Targino's goal in the 72nd minute proved decisive. Olhanense proceeded to have both Rui Duarte and Vasco Fernandes sent off but managed to hold on for the three points.

Gil Vicente and Vitória Guimarães played out a goalless draw in Barcelos, a result that leaves Gil perilously close to the relegation zone.

by Tom Kundert

Comments (10)
10 Monday, 07 January 2013 17:01
You make good points broheim, especially about the quality of Portuguese players. Indeed, they must be good, not just Portuguese. Otherwise, Sporting can sign me, as I have dual citizenship.

I also find it depressing to hear the news that Sporting had a conference last Wednesday during which the Assembly forwarded a motion for Godinho to step down, and to which he replied, "nah, I'll just keep running Sporting into the ground, like a boss".

Pathetic and delusional.
Somebody needs to flush "The Pia"
9 Monday, 07 January 2013 15:30
It's no longer fun, to just pile on the Maca Podres.
Eddie, should Sporting pick up Villa from Barca or Llorent from Bilbao? Last time I checked Cardozo has been thought of as a statue, yet he seems to score plenty. It's not always the strikers problem.
Before everyone starts going crazy about Sporting needing to start Portuguese, let's keep in mind that they better be good. Last time I checked Porto and Benfica have done pretty well with foreign transfers.
Yes, Sporting needs to build their Academy back up, but the rot goes much deeper than just players. The bad business practices run deep.
Sporting's bad run at home has been inexcusable. A 2-2-3 record is pathetic. The attendance numbers have also begun to drop, so that will affect the finances.

As for Pacos, very much like Rio Ave, i don't think they have the depth to contend. Like Rio Ave, they will tire. Let me add, it would be great to see, whoever, earns the Europa spot is able to advance through the tourney.
8 Monday, 07 January 2013 10:02
He's been fired! Jesualdo Ferreira looks set to be the next Sporting CP manager!
Hurtado Goal
7 Sunday, 06 January 2013 19:26
That was one classy finish by Hurtado, nothing Rui could of done, very classy finishing.

With all due respect, alot of selfish play from Sporting players, lots of passing options ignored for long range shooting....

There should be an award for Paulo Fonseca, doesnt Oscar Cardozo make more money than all of Pacos?? LOL
6 Sunday, 06 January 2013 18:28
briliant goal HURTADO congrats to FC PACOS DE FERREIRA!
Pacos deserved the three points
5 Sunday, 06 January 2013 00:30
The humble club from northern Portugal was excellent in possession in the first half and well-organized in the second. Paulo Fonseca has done a brilliant job with such limited resources and I wouldn't be too surprised if they give Braga a real challenge for the third champions league spot. Pacos Ferreira in the Champions League! Now wouldn't that be an achievement.

Now, I'd still put my money on Braga to finish in third, but Pacos have really stood out as the "best of the rest" in the liga. Rio Ave have also stood out, but Pacos have been particularly impressive. There's not a lot of flashy, technically brilliant players on the team, but they're tactically disciplined, full of energy, and efficient with their chances.
4 Saturday, 05 January 2013 23:57
Izmailov is certainly a good player however guy is made of glass, very injury prone. Seems to play well for few games then he misses at least handful with injury. But since nothing goes well for Sporting i imagine Izmailov will have a great spell of health and be terrific for Porto
3 Saturday, 05 January 2013 23:49
If Sporting hadn't sold Joao Carlos Teixeira to Liverpool he could have been another option to promote to the first team now as he's a central midfield playmaker. He's got good skills and technique a Deco like style. He would have been nice to have around to help fill the creative void in center midfield. Still upset they sold him to Liverpool...
Sporting Taking Steps In Right Direction But Need To Do More
2 Saturday, 05 January 2013 23:12
This was a really tight game and one defensive lapse by Sporting cost them the game. But what is also true is that they didn't ever look really dangerous on the attack. So even if they had prevented that goal it would still have only been a draw. Sporting needs to really address the two main issues in improving their attack which are signing a MORE MOBILE QUICKER BETTER DRIBBLING STRIKER who can take the ball and turn players and beat a player with skill and pace and then run at the defense. If Sporting had a striker like that it would be much easier on their team. Wolfs is a poacher, but they need another type of striker, a variation which would improve their game. Its plain to see that Wolfs is limited, that is nothing new, he is alright at poaching but if Sporting had a speedy dribbling striker I can assure you their attack would be muchhhh better! If Godinho and Co. can't see that they are idiots lol. Also if they are not going to play Andre Martins which they seem hell bent on, then they MUST BUY A CLASS PLAYMAKER MIDFIELD DYNAMO to help split open defenses on the dribble and with the pass! Pranjic is not good enough. He's alright to be a sub, but not for the main starting job.

But at least some steps in the right direction have been made. This managemant has spent too much money on poor average players just to make up squad numbers when at SPORTING that should be the last thing. There's loads of enough home grown talent in the team and in the B team and on loan. So they should clear out the deadwood players that they uslesly wasted our time with and then only strengthen in those TWO KEY AREAS - STRIKER and CENTER ATTACKING MIDFIELD. Management has been making some headway with my dream coming true of getting rid of the horrible Gelson Fernandes and Elias! Can't believe it took them sooo long to see that they are not up to standard or what is needed. So those two are finally gone thank goodness. Izmailov has been far to inconsistent and underachieved so good to see him shipped out too, Miguel Lopes coming in in the swap deal is nice! Xandao and Boularouz are alright, but seeing that Carrico has left, they can stay but Rojo is not great in the center either. They are all average and I expect Pedro Mendes, Eric Dier, Nuno Reis, and Tiago Illori to come up and hold down the starting center back spots soon anyway. But center back is clearly not too strong either. Its a shame they lost Carrico but they're others coming up who can step up too!

They ought to sell one of those foreigner defenders too to raise a little bit more money to see if they can sign the maestro playmaker and striker, but the reality is those players they sold or looking to sell aren't even worth much, so they probably don't have money to reinforce in those two key areas. If they don't then they HAVE TO START ANDRE MARTINS in CAM, and HAVE TO START VIOLA as striker, cause he's got the skill and pace if not the proven goalscoring record, but from what I've seen of him he has the makings of a good all round striker with the pace and skill that we need. It'd be a big risk cause he hasn't proven to score so many goals, but in his footballing ability he is a better player than Wolfsinkel and should start up top in my opinion.

Side not good to see Antunes back and shinning! He's a good player! Nice to see him in form again! Would lovee to see him called up as another left back for Portugal to back up compete with Coentrao! And Josue is a very talented playmaker he's got a good game! Hope he keeps it up!
not surprised
1 Saturday, 05 January 2013 22:52
Pacos and SCP are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Its sad to see Sporting like this but the more this happens the more the club have cause for getting read of that Piranha Godinho.

I think he's developed a "god" complex since that word is in his name. Now giving up Izmailov for Lopes? I like Lopes but this is a great deal for FCP since Izmailov is versatile enough to cover for James on the flank, Moutinho in the middle and even Jackson up front (quick and has a great shot).

Sporting has Cedric and Dier who can play there so I'm not sure if Lopes is really the answer. I feel like Sporting doesn't even acquire or trade players for their own benefit anymore. They're like that really sad kid in high school who doesn't care if you're making fun of him, he just likes the attention.

Man, I wish we were writing about happier times at the Alvalade.

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