Sporting have risen back up to first place after taking advantage of Benfica’s slip up against Casa Pia with a 2-0 victory over Boavista, this Monday.
The Lisbon outfit lead courtesy of a Geny Catamo opener in the first half largely dominated by the visitors before Boavista began asking questions over the Lions' resilience.
A goal chalked off for offside from Robert Boženik served to wake Sporting up late in the game, with an 85th-minute heel-flick from Pedro Gonçalves securing three crucial points for the title hopefuls.
The Lions took the game to Boavista at the Bessa in the first half, threatening with a couple of strikes from range from Pedro Gonçalves and Geny that conveyed real danger for João Gonçalves and his goal inside the first ten minutes.
Petit’s men responded with an opening for goal-hungry Boženik, carved up by his diminutive strike-partner Tiago Morais prior to the Slovakian’s poorly-executed first-time effort.
Sporting’s Pedro Gonçalves suffered the same fate when Marcus Edwards left the Portuguese midfielder alone in front of goal before a volley way over the bar kept the score locked at 0-0 after 30 minutes of football.
The goalless scoreline was on its last legs, however, as Geny’s surge into the box left the Boavista backline outnumbered at the back-post, enabling the wide-man to volley in a cross from Matheus Reis in the 37th minute, placing Sporting 1-0 up going into the break.
Ruben Amorim’s men provoked a couple of nervy moments for the hosts coming into the second half, with Edwards nearing a second goal before being thwarted by a Chidozie recovery, whereas Hidemasa Morita's struggles with his own balance, alone inside the box, spared the hosts ahead of a potential killer goal.
With chances gone to waste at one end, Boavista looked to make Sporting pay with late pressure, finding a way through with a Boženik volley inside the box before VAR’s intervention, calling an offside and keeping the Lions’ 1-0 lead intact.
Sporting fired back with Pedro Gonçalves, whilst being floored, conjuring up a shot at goal that would hit the post in the 85th minute but from the very next passage of play, set up by Ricardo Esgaio’s cross, the midfielder’s flick at goal proved inevitable as it rolled into the bottom-left corner, making it 2-0.
With no response in sight from Boavista, Sporting concluded the night with a 2-0 victory, moving three points clear of both Benfica and FC Porto at the top of the table.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Boavista XI: João Gonçalves - Filipe Ferreira (Luís Ferreira, 75’), Rodrigo Abascal, Chidozie, Salvador Agra - Seba Pérez, Masa Watai (Martim Tavares, 75’), Miguel Reisinho, Gaius Makouta (Berna, 69’)- Tiago Morais (Bruno Lourenço, 62’), Robert Boženik
Sporting XI: Antonio Adán - Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastian Coates (Jeremiah St. Juste, 69’), Ousmane Diomande - Matheus Reis (Nuno Santos, 75’), Morten Hjulmand, Hidemasa Morita, Geny Catamo (Francisco Trincão, 86’) - Pedro Gonçalves, Marcus Edwards (Ricardo Esgaio, 75’), Viktor Gyökeres (Paulinho, 86’)
0-1 - Geny Catamo (37’)
0-2 - Pedro Gonçalves (85’)