Five-star Sporting blitz past Braga in emphatic home victory

Sporting 5-0 Sp. Braga

Sporting have flexed a firm grip on top spot of the Primeira Liga after powering past Sporting Clube de Braga with a 5-0 thrashing at the Alvalade, this Sunday.The Lions roared early with a couple of goals within the first 20 minutes, courtesy of Francisco Trincão and Eduardo Quaresma finishes.Braga readied a reaction in the second period but it was quickly buried by quick-fire goals from Viktor Gyökeres and Daniel Bragança, before a final strike from Nuno Santos drew the curtains at 5-0.

With the African Cup of Nations and Asian Cup drawing to a close, Rúben Amorim was able to call on the likes of Geny Catamo and Hidemasa Morita for the occasion, meanwhile Trincão held his spot in Sporting’s attack.The hosts were hot on their heels with a quick start against their namesakes, taking advantage of a poor pass infield from Victor Goméz as early as the 8th minute through Trincão, fizzing a strike into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.Sporting built on their positive start with an incisive run upfield from Eduardo Quaresma, leading to a through ball to Pedro Gonçalves that fell neatly for the defender to control and finish beyond Matheus, making it 2-0 in the 17th minute. 

The away side failed to rise up to the Lions, being limited to a daisy-cutting Álvaro Djaló strike from outside of the box on the brink of half-time, whistling past Antonio Adán’s post in rainy conditions.With less zing in the second period, Sporting looked to control the game as a means to keep Braga at bay, looking most threatening from range via the marauding Nuno Santos on the hour mark.Unable to break through the home side’s backline, Braga’s best bet looked to be their efforts from set-pieces, as Vitor Carvalho forced Adan into a save from his head in the 61st minute.The golden opportunity finally came for Artur Jorge’s men in the 69th minute as a pull-back from Abel Ruiz found Djaló in a prime position, only for the Spaniard to drag his shot wide in front of Adan inside the box.Braga paid the price in the form of a Gyökeres goal, supplied by Trincão’s in-swinging cross to set up the Swede’s first-time volley in the 71st minute.Sporting were quick to follow-up their top-scorer’s goal with strike number four against Braga, found by second-half substitute Daniel Bragança with a casual finish past Matheus for 4-0.Nuno Santos added the finishing touches to a five-star performance for Sporting, firing in the fifth goal for the league leaders in a real statement of a performance at the Alvalade.By Patrick Ribeiro Sporting: Antonio Adán - Gonçalo Inácio, Sebastian Coates, Edu Quaresma - Nuno Santos, Morten Hjulmand, Hidemasa Morita, Geny Catamo - Pedro Gonçalves, Francisco Trincão, Viktor Gyökeres.Sp. Braga: Matheus - Borja, José Fonte, Paulo Oliveira, Victor Goméz - Vitor Carvalho, João Moutinho - Rodrigo Zalazar, Ricardo Horta, Álvaro Djaló - Abel Ruiz