Porto beat ten-man Sporting 2-1 in extra time to win Portuguese Cup

Porto are winners of the 2023/24 Portuguese Cup after beating Sporting in the final at Jamor this afternoon to lift the trophy for the third consecutive year.

The Lions drew first blood when Jeramiah St. Juste headed in a corner midway through the first half but five minutes later Porto were level when Evanilson took advantage of a crass mistake by Geny Catamo. Soon afterwards St. Juste was sent off for bringing down Wenderson Galeno as the last man.

Sporting held on for 60 minutes playing a man down to force extra time, but Evanilson was decisive again in the added period, drawing a careless foul and penalty by the nervy Sporting goalkeeper Diogo Pinto, which Mehdi Taremi converted, and there was no way back for Sporting. 

Porto were without injured captain Pepe, while Rúben Amorim selected St. Juste in place of Ousmande Dioimande and 19-year-old goalkeeper Diogo Pinto continued to deputise in goal with first choices Antonio Adán and Franco Israel unfit in what were otherwise full-strength teams.

In the very first minute Pinto showed a worrying mixture of nerves and inexperience as he hesitated to come out and claim the ball, almost allowing Evanilson to sneak in and necessitating a sharp save. The teenager was the youngest ever goalkeeper to start a Portuguese Cup final and it showed. 

Sporting strike first

A cagey opening period ensued with neither team creating clear openings, but in the 20th Sporting took the lead from their first corner. Pedro Gonçalves delivered an inswinger, St. Juste rising highest to head past Diogo Costa, the ball brushing the post on its way into the net.

The Sporting fans behind that goal erupted in joy, another quick attack soon afterwards causing panic in the Porto defence but the Lions unable to get away a shot, then a Nuno Santos effort was deflected just wide.

But in a five-minute spell the match completely turned on its head. In the 25th minute Geny Catamo made a complete hash of an attempt to intercept a cross, only succeeding in laying on a perfect assist for Evanilson who couldn’t miss with just Pinto to beat from 10 yards out.

St. Juste goes from hero to zero

Things got worse for Sporting soon afterwards, a long ball forward raced onto by Galeno, with St. Juste bringing down the winger, Pinto again at fault for not coming out of his goal decisively. The referee had no doubts: penalty and a red card for St. Juste. However, after a VAR review the penalty turned into a free kick on the edge of the box, but the sending-off stood.

Francisco Conceição took the free kick, his effort deflected inches past the post.

Rúben Amorim reorganised his team by bringing on Eduardo Quaresma for Hidemasa Morita, maintaining his three-man back line.

Before the break both teams had good opportunities to score, Gonçalo Inácio forcing Diogo Costa into a sharp save and Evanilson ballooning a great chance over the bar when set up by João Mário.

The second half was one-way traffic. Porto applied pressure throughout, with Amorim trying to keep his adversary at bay by freshening up his team sporadically by making regular substitutions.

Evanilson, Francisco Conceição, Alan Varela and Wendell all peppered Sporting’s goal amid ever-increasing Porto pressure, but Pinto did well to repel all efforts. 

Pinto’s fatal mistake

The young goalkeeper’s night took a turn for the worse in extra time though. Evanilson again chased a long ball, Pinto this time deciding to race out decisively from his goal, only to clatter into the Brazilian for an obvious penalty.

Mehdi Taremi converted, and there was no way back for Sporting. Porto coach Sérgio Conceição, rumoured to be on his way out of the club, keeps up his remarkable record of winning at least one trophy in every one of his seven seasons at the Estádio do Dragão.

By Tom Kundert at the Jamor national stadium

FC Porto: Diogo Costa; João Mário (Mehdi Taremi, 46’), Otávio, Zé Pedro, Wendell; Francisco Conceição (Gonçalo Borges, 118’), Nico González (Marko Grujic, 84’), Alan Varela (Strven Estáquio, 84’), Wenderson Galeno; Pepê (Martim Fernandes, 112’), Evanilson (Romário Baró, 103’)

Sporting: Diogo Pinto; Jeramiah St. Juste, Sebastián Coates (Paulinho 101’), Gonçalo Inácio; Geny Catamo (Diomande 71’), Hidemasa Morita (Eduardo Quaremsa, 36’), Morten Hjulmand, Nuno Santos (Ricardo Esgaio, 82’); Francisco Trincão (Daniel Bragança, 71’), Viktor Gyökeres, Pedro Gonçalves (Koba Koindredi, 90’)


[0-1] Jeramiah St. Juste, 20’

[1-1] Evanilson, 25’

[2-1] Mehdi Taremi (pen), 100’