Sporting lifted their 14th Taça de Portugal in 24 attempts Sunday, beating Belenenses (five times losing finalists from eight Finals) 1-0. In front of a capacity 40,000 at the National Stadium in the Jamor Park near Lisbon, both sides cancelled each other out in a very tactical game which had as its main protagonist the goalkeepers, Sporting's Ricardo and especially Costinha in the Belenenses goal, playing against his old club.
Both made several top class saves, notably tip-overs by Costinha from a Romagnoli cross-cum-shot in the first half and Ricardo from a Dady header in the second. But Costinha could do nothing about the winner: the Belenenses right back Amaral was off the field for treatment three minutes from time when Miguel Veloso broke down the left, Amaral's channel, and crossed low for Liedson, Sporting's top scorer, to beat his markers and Costinha with a simple tap-in at the near post.
The teams lined up:
Belenenses: Costinha, Amaral (Carlitos 88), Nivaldo, Rolando, Rodrigo Alvim, Sandro Gaúcho, Ruben Amorim (Fernando 72), Cândido Costa, José Pedro, Silas (Garcés 75), Dady.
Sporting: Ricardo, Abel, Polga, Caneira, Tello (Tonel 66), Miguel Veloso, Nani, João Moutinho, Romagnoli (Custódio 92), Alecsandro (Djaló 70), Liedson.
Fans complained of bad organisation at the National Stadium, where the limited number of gates caused bottlenecks at the entrance. Sporting fans (15,000 of them) who did not have a ticket had a chance to watch the game on a giant screen at the club's Alvalade XXI stadium, which is where the team went after the game to show the Cup off.
Taça fever is rising as Sunday approaches. Sporting fans camped out overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday to buy tickets for the Final against Belenenses, but there was much bad feeling as members of the Sporting claque (fan group) Juve Leo pushed into the queues and snaffled the last ones.Sporting have been trying to get their ticket allocation increased.
There will be 650 police officers on duty in and around the National Stadium on Sunday, and at the gates, checks will be made for fireworks and drunkenness.
Belenenses will join Sporting in the Final of the Taça de Portugal (27 May) after beating Sporting Braga 2-1 Thursday. They were in front on 5 minutes, Dady chipping the oncoming Paulo Santos from the edge of the area. Maciel equalised for Braga on 35 minutes, latching onto a neat back-heel by Wender and flicking the ball over Marco. It stayed that way until the final whistle and so it went to extra time. Wender was sent off for a second yellow on 98 minutes, and three minutes later José Pedro scored from the spot after Fréchaut had handled.
The teams lined up:
Belenenses: Marco, Amaral (Carlitos 89), Rolando, Nivaldo, Rodrigo Alvim, Ruben Amorim, Cândido Costa (Sandro Gaúcho 77), Silas (Fernando 77), José Pedro, Garcês, Dady.
Sporting Braga: Paulo Santos, Frechaut, Paulo Jorge, Nem (Davide 46), Carlos Fernandes, Vandinho, Andrade (Castanheira 79), Maciel (Cesinha 91), João Pinto, Wender, Zé Carlos.
It will be the topping on an excellent season for Belenenses, who were in danger of being relegated from the Liga but got a reprieve because of the Mateus affair (Gil Vicente went down instead) and are now fourth. This will be Belenenses' eighth Final; they have won the Taça three times.
Sporting won their Taça de Portugal semi-final against Beira-Mar at Alvalade Wednesday. A drubbing looked on the cards after they went two-up within ten minutes: Moutinho's cross from a narrow angle squirmed under the bar on seven minutes, and the same player, the shortest on the pitch, rose to head a Yannick cross past Eduardo on nine. But the Lions did not capitalise on the early start, and Beira-Mar pulled one back two minutes into the second half, Diarra beating Ricardo after defender Marco Caneira had slipped and gifted him the ball. But Sporting shut up shop and rode the game out.
The teams lined up:
Sporting: Ricardo, Abel, Marco Caneira, Polga, Tello, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Nani (Tonel 87), Romagnoli (Bruno Pereirinha 46), Liedson, Yannic k Djaló (Alecsandro 73)
Beira-Mar: Eduardo, Ricardo, Buba, Alcaraz, Jorge Vidigal, André Leão, Di Akité, Veselinovic (Diarra 46), Vasco Matos (Ribeiro 83), Matheus, Roma (Edgar 64).
Sporting were last in the Final in 2002, beating Leixões 1-0, Laszlo Bölöni the coach.
Beira-Mar are to contest the official attendance at the game, around 21,000. In the Taça, the clubs split the proceeds.
Sporting Braga are into the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal after beating Liga de Honra side Varzim 2-0 at home Sunday in the last remaining quarter-final. Varzim put up a good fight but they were reacting to a 1-0 deficit as from the 33rd minute, Maciel touching in a mis-hit Wender shot. In the second half, Varzim had most of the possession and occasionally scared Paulo Santos, notably a Marco Cláudio volley at the back post that flew just over the bar. But it was all over bar the shouting on 67 minutes when Maciel again ran onto a through ball from Wender and took the ball round Ricardo before slotting it in.
The teams lined up:
Sp. Braga: Paulo Santos; Luís Filipe, Paulo Jorge, Nem e Carlos Fernandes; Andrade, Frechaut e Madrid (João Pinto, 55m); Maciel (Gama, 83m), Wender e Zé Carlos (Chmiest, 73m).
Varzim: Ricardo; Pedrinho, Bruno Miguel, Alexandre e Nuno Ribeiro (Rafael, 76m); Tito, Emanuel e Marco Cláudio e Nuno Rocha (Diego, 85m); Denilson e Luca (Roberto, ao int.).
Braga face Belenenses in the semis, while Sporting play Beira-Mar.
Sporting went through to the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal with a 2-1 win over Académica at Alvalade XXI Wednesday. Sporting's goals came very early on through Liedson , on four and 11 minutes, and the 13,000 (!) fans at the stadium would have been justified in feeling a little peeved that Sporting didn't extend this lead, especially after Vítor Vinha saw a red card as early as the 55th minute for a foul on Moutinho. But Sporting held out, despite a late consolation from Dame.
The teams lined up:
Sporting: Ricardo, Abel, Anderson Polga, Tonel, Caneira, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Nani (Romagnoli 73), Yannick (Farnerud 60), Liedson, Carlos Bueno (Pereirinha 81).
Académica: Pedro Roma, Litos (Vítor Vinha 34), Kaká, Lino, Danilo, Paulo Sérgio, Roberto Brum, Filipe Teixeira, Dame, Cláudio Pitbull (Alexandre 46), Nestor Alvarez (Gyano 46).
Beira-Mar were perhaps surprise entrants to the semis, beating Boavista 2-0 at home, Matheus and Delibasic the scorers for Beira-Mar in extra time, after the game had finished 0-0 on 90 minutes. Boavista received eight yellow cards and one red, for Lucas, in extra time. There were just 1,800 fans at the Aveiro Municipal Stadium (capacity 30,000).
Belenenses travelled north to beat Bragança, of the Segunda Divisão (third tier) 2-1. The Lisbon team were behind at half time to a Toni goal, but reacted well and clinched a place in the semi-finals with goals by Dady and Nivaldo.
The semi-finals will have these three teams – Sporting, Beira-Mar and Belenenses –plus either Sporting Braga or Varzim (of the Liga de Honra - second tier), who will play on 25 March.
The draw was made Tuesday for the quarter-finals of the Taça de Portugal. The tie of the game is a clássico: Sporting at home to Académica. the full draw:
Sp. Braga v Varzim (Liga de Honra)
Beira Mar v Boavista
Sporting v Académica
Bragança (Segunda Divisão) v Belenenses
Varzim of the Liga de Honra (2nd tier) provided the shock of the Sixth Round, putting out giants Benfica 2-1. Nélson put through his own goal on 14 minutes to give Varzim the lead, Simão headed an equaliser on the hour, but 15 minutes from time, Angolan international Mendonça glanced in a header from a free kick on the left to bring on the Benfica blushes. It was coach Diamantino Miranda's first game in charge at Varzim; Diamantino was formerly a Benfica player.
Bragança of the Segunda Divisão (3rd tier) were also giant-killers, travelling to and beating Liga side Naval 1-0, a goal by Mobil on 25 minutes proving the difference. There were just 300 diehard fans at Naval's ground to witness the feat.
Sporting were not as careless as Lisbon rivals Benfica, thumping Segunda side Pinhalnovense 6-0 at the borrowed stadium of Barreirense in front of 20,000. Liedson and Bueno , both with two, and Custôdio and Djaló did the damage. Sporting have scored 11 goals in the last two games, six of them by Uruguayan striker Bueno. Liedson's second goal, Sporting's fourth, was a monumental overhead kick from the left-hand corner of the penalty area.
Odivelas, also of the Segunda, did not have much luck at home to Belenenses, going out to a Garces goal on the hour, despite being on top for much of the game.
Nor did another Segunda club have much more luck, Maia going out to two first half goals by struggling Liga side Beira-Mar, Edgar and Delibasic the scorers.
In the only all-Liga game, Boavista came out 2-0 winners over Nacional, under former Boavista coach Carlos Brito. Nuno Pinto with a deflected shot on seven minutes and the Polish winger Grzelak in added time put the Black Panthers through.
Segunda side Atlético, who had put out FC Porto in a previous round, finally succumbed to Liga opposition, losing 0-1 at home to Académica through a goal by on loan Claudio Pitbull, but only in added time.
Sporting Braga had a bye, which means the following go into the hat for the quarter-finals: Braga, Sporting, Boavista, Académica, Belenenses, Beira-Mar, Varzim, Bragança.
The draw for the Sixth Round of the Taça de Portugal mainly separated the big clubs; there is only one all-Liga game: Boavista v Nacional. Sporting play at Pinhalnovense of the Segunda Divisão (third tier), while Benfica visit northern club Varzim of the Liga de Honra (second tier). The ties will be played on 10 February.
Atlético (II)-Académica (L)
Odivelas (II)-Belenenses (L)
Boavista (L)-Nacional (L)
Pinhalnovense (II)-Sporting (L)
Maia (II)-Beira Mar (L)
Varzim (LH) -Benfica (L)
Naval (L)-Bragança (II)
Bye: Sp. Braga
There was only one real surprise in the fifth round of the Taça de Portugal on Sunday: Maia of the second division (third tier) beat Liga strugglers Desportivo das Aves 1-0 at home. Other Liga sides out are Estrela da Amadora, who lost 0-1 at home to Naval, and União de Leiria. Nacional had a tough time at home to Liga de Honra side Penafiel and only went through thanks to penalties after extra time had still not brought any goals.
Pedro Mantorras came off the bench to give Benfica a hard-won win over União at the Luz. União had gone in front with a header from Harison (later sent off) on the hour, but ten minutes from time, Nuno Gomes got the slightest of touches to a Simão free kick, and Mantorras turned in the six-yard box to get the winner five minutes later.
The teams lined up:
Benfica: Quim, Nélson, Anderson, Luisão, Léo, Petit, Katsouranis, Rui Costa (Karagounis 88), Manu (Mantorras 61), Nuno Gomes, Simão.
União de Leiria: Fernando, Laranjeiro, Renato, Marcos António, Tixier, Paulo Gomes, Paulo Machado (Alhandra 74), Hugo Faria (Paulo César 87), Harison, Ivanildo (Touré 66), Sougou.
Sporting are through, too, beating Rio Ave 2-1 in front of just 14,000 at Alvalade XXI – the worst attendance there this season. On new turf, laid during the recent break, Sporting were two up within half an hour, Ricardo Jorge putting through his own goal and Liedson netting the other. Keita got one back for Rio Ave a quarter of an hour from time, straight after coming on as sub, but that's the way the score stayed.
The teams lined up:
Sporting: Tiago, Caneira (Abel 75), Anderson Polga, Miguel Veloso, Rodrigo Tello, Custódio, João Moutinho, Nani, Romagnoli (Pereirinha 59), Alecsandro (Yannick 68), Liedson.
Rio Ave: Mora, Ricardo Jorge (António 23), André Vilas Boas (André Serrão 71), Bruno Mendes, Milhazes, Niquinha, Vítor Gomes, Delson, Evandro, Chidi, Fábio Coentrão (Keita 75).
Second division side Atlético, who put FC Porto out in the last round, beat Santa Clara of the Liga de Honra 1-0.
Beira-Mar beat Segunda side Louletano 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick of penalties from Rui Lima. Beira- Mar were down to nine men by the end of the game.
The draw for the sixth round will be on Tuesday.
The draw for the 5th Round of the Taça de Portugal, to be played on or around 21 January, took place Tuesday. Giant-killers Atlético, who knocked out FC Porto at the weekend, receive Santa Clara of the Azores. Benfica and Sporting are at home to União de Leiria and Rio Ave, respectively, two of the all-Liga ties; the other is Estrela da Amadora v Naval.
The full draw (L = Liga = 1st tier; H = Liga de Honra = 2nd tier; II = Segunda Divisão = 3rd tier; III = Terceira Divisão = 4th tier):
Atlético (II)-Santa Clara (H)
E. Amadora (L)-Naval (L)
Boavista (L)-Penalva do Castelo (II)
Beira Mar (L)-Louletano (II)
Varzim (H)-Sertanense (III)
Odivelas (II)-Mafra (II)
Sporting (L)-Rio Ave (H)
Sp. Braga (L)-Pontassolense (II)
Nacional (L)-Penafiel (H)
Gondomar (H)-Belenenses (L)
Maia (II)-D. Aves (L)
Pinhalnovense (II)-Camacha (II)
Leixões (H)-Académica (L)
Benfica (L)-U. Leiria (L)
Bye: Bragança (II)
The big story of the Fourth round of the Taça de Portugal was holders FC Porto's exit, at home, to modest Atlético of the Segunda Divisão (3rd tier). A scrappy goal on the hour by David was enough to eliminate the giants, with help from Quaresma, who clipped a penalty against the post in the last minute of added time. It was Porto's first home defeat in 15 months. Such was the interest in Atlético's feat that the club's website crashed on Monday from an overload of visits.
Benfica had coasted past Oliveira do Bairro on Saturday, winning 5-0 at the Luz with goals from Katsouranis, Nuno Gomes (2) and Kikin (2). The game marked the return of Rui Costa after 96 days out with a thigh injury.
Other Liga sides out are last season's beaten finalists Vitória de Setúbal, who went down 2-1 to Académica, also of the Liga, Paços de Ferreira, who lost 1-2 at home to União de Leiria (Liga again), and Maritimo, 0-1 losers at Penafiel (Liga de Honra)
Sporting are through to the 5th round of the Taça de Portugal after a comfortable win over second division side União de Madeira, at Nacional's Choupana stadium, in front of just 1,500 spectators.
Sporting were two up within ten minutes through João Moutinho and Farnerud, with Tello (later to be sent off) adding a third before the break. Perhaps understandably, Sporting took their foot off the gas in the second half, and União were allowed a consolation a quarter of an hour from the end through Belic.
The teams lined up:
União: Rui Marques, Alex Garcia, Micas, João Fidalgo (Hector 63), Celso, Belic, Rúben, Paiva, Rocha (Edgar 81), Edgar, Steven (Edu 60).
Sporting: Tiago, Abel, Tonel, Miguel Veloso, Tello, Custódio (Paredes 84), Farnerud (Romagnoli 71), Nani, João Moutinho, Liedson (Yannick 54), Alecsandro.
The draw for the fourth round of the Taça de Portugal, the first round involving teams from the top tier, pits holders F.C. Porto against historic club Atlético, now in the second (II) division (third tier). Sporting travel to União de Madeira (II), and Benfica host Oliveira do Bairro (II). The only games between teams from the Liga are Paços de Ferreira v União de Leiria and Académica v Vitória de Setúbal. The games will be played on 7 January. (The draw).
The main shock result of the third round of the Taça de Portugal was the 2-1 defeat, after extra time, by Segunda Divisão (third tier) Mafra of Liga de Honra (second tier) side Vitória de Guimarães. (see results)
The second round of the Taça de Portugal, in which teams from the third tier (Segunda Divisão) enter, will take place on 24 September (see draw)
The draw was made Tuesday for the first round of this season's Taça de Portugal. The round involves teams from the district leagues and the Third Division. Games will be played on or around 03 September.