FC Porto was eliminated from the League Cup after the defeat against Sporting (2-1)
The streak of 17 consecutive matches without defeats ended abruptly. In the first 85 minutes of the semi-final of the League Cup, facing a Sporting with nine of the usual starters, FC Porto - unable to count on the likes of Sérgio Oliveira, Otávio, Luis Díaz and Mehdi Taremi - proved to be much better than the current leader of the championship and the 1-0 advantage in the scoreboard didn’t show the real difference between the teams. However, and because matches only end after the final whistle, the lions managed to score a turnaround and ended up winning 2-1, with two goals form Jovane four minutes before the end and four minutes after minute 90.
FC Porto played in Leiria using a three central defenders tactic, with João Mário and Zaidu in charge of the wings and the duo Marko Grujic/Matheus Uribe in the midfield. The first two shots came from the Serbian midfielder: a shot deflected into a corner-kick and a header straight at Adán. 15 minutes in, FC Porto was already playing in the opposing midfield and that was when Tecatito Corona, with a phenomenal pass, found Zaidu inside the area. The Nigerian didn’t balance himself well, wasted the opportunity and came out of the play with pain on his knee. Shortly after it, Diogo Costa also tried to make a assistance. The young goalkeeper, trained in the youth teams of FC Porto, pushed forward a guided ball that, seventy meters away, was received by Marega. The Malian passed to Corona and the Mexican shot over the bar. 30 minutes in, Sporting had yet to make any shot and FC Porto was in control of the match. Four minutes later, Pedro Gonçalves made the first attempt of the night for the Lions, crossed and too high. The best goal situation of the first-half belonged to the national champions: João Mário worked well on the right, dribbled Antunes and shot. The ball was intercepted by Coates and, on the spare ball, Moussa Marega watched as the post saved the opponent, with the break coming with an unfair tie.
The second-half started in the same way and the same 22 players. After João Mário recovered the ball in the midfield, Marega moved up on the right, crossed late to the heart of the area and Matheus Uribe shot well over the goal. The second shot of the Lions came from Pedro Gonçalves again and ended the same way as the first, at a time when the match was facing many fouls and the high levels of aggressiveness from the green and whites. 66 minutes in, João Palhinha, who had already been shown a yellow card, stopped a blue and white attack with his arm and referee João Pinheiro sent-off Vítor Bruno, FC Porto’s assistant coach, from the bench. In the last twenty minutes, and after a shock between Pepe and Uribe, Nuno Santos moved to the blue and white goal, dribbled Diogo Costa, far away from the goal, and Felipe Anderson recovered the ball, much to the relief of the Dragons. With Manafá replacing Zaidu, Marega took the ball in the midfield, dribbled the opposing defence and shot with his left foot just outside the area, giving Adán no chances and making it 1-0. Sérgio Conceição sent in Toni Martínez to replace the Malian, Nanu replaced Corona and, shortly after, Sporting tied the match. Following a free-kick on the right side of the attack, the ball ended on the left and Jovane placed a shot that hit the post and beat Diogo Costa. With everything tied, João Mário was replaced by Fábio Vieira. In the last minute of the four of stoppage time, Jovane received the ball with space, moved up on the left and made it 2-1 for Sporting.
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