After Alvalade and Braga, the classic arrives tonight (20h15) at Estádio do Dragão. This is the third of five matches between FC Porto and Sporting, in three competitions, in a face-off that has yet to see any goal being scored. And now, the time has come for the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup. The two teams met recently, two weeks ago, but the record of matches, set by statistical balance, is almost 96 years old and includes several good old beatings. Literally.
In 227 matches, FC Porto and Sporting won 81 each. In the final tie, the 65th, the blue and whites lost access to the League Cup final in the penalty shootout.
It all started on June 4, 1922, in Campo da Constituição and in the first leg of the Portuguese Championship final. Emílio Ramos scored first for Sporting, but Tavares Bastos scored twice and turned the match. In the second leg, in Campo Grande, Sporting won with goals from Portela and Ramos, which led to the super-final in Bessa, where Balbino, João Nunes and João Brito gave FC Porto the victory in the first edition of the Portuguese Championship.
The biggest beating to Sporting was almost 82 years ago. Carlos Nunes scored five and Pinga three in a 10-1 victory at Campo do Ameal. In the following season, in 1936/37, Manuel Soeiro scored four in Sporting's 9-1 victory in Campo Grande.
With 14 goals, Artur de Sousa “Pinga”, the first great legend of FC Porto, is the Dragon with the most goals scored against Sporting. He scored the first aged 23, the last aged 34, and got two hat-tricks in 31 matches. In the current squad, Tiquinho Soares stands out as the top scorer against Sporting: three goals, one of which for Vitória de Guimarães.
FC Porto has a slight advantage in the 37 matches played for the Portuguese Cup against Sporting Clube de Portugal: they won 13, tied 12 and lost 12. The difference becomes more significant when the comparison comes down to their home matches: 10 victories, 2 ties and 5 defeats.
If Iker Casillas plays today, as expected, with the goalkeeper rotation in the Portuguese Cup, he will reach 100 matches for FC Porto. Still, it will be only the fourth in the competition, corresponding to the path of the Dragons in the current edition of the competition.
Sérgio Conceição isn’t expecting “a fragile Sporting” due to the defeat at Estoril, but wants to keep “the same superiority” revealed in the two previous matches, but now with “a positive result”, as stated this Tuesday, at the press conference.
The first leg of the semi-final of the Portuguese Cup starts at 20h15, on Wednesday (Sport TV), and will be previewed by Porto Canal at 18h30. The match can then be followed live on Facebook, Twitter, and the official FC Porto app. In the end, the match analysis will be made in Porto Canal and www.fcporto.pt will have the usual report and statements of the coach and players.