O Sporting ended pre-season testing on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton at the Algarve Stadium, making it a record of five wins, five draws and one loss.
The lions did not start the game well, largely due to heavy pressure from Bruno Lage’s men, which caused numerous errors from Sebastián Coates and Gonçalo Inácio, and invariably forced the team to play long, resulting in stray ball after stray ball. .
The Portuguese central defender was also directly linked to the English goal, which opened the scoring, just after the 15th minute of play, by committing the penalty on Pedro Neto which resulted in the goal of Rúben Neves.
Little by little, Greens and Whites are “freeing themselves from the shackles” and regaining equality even before the start of the break. Nathan Collins brought down Paulinho in the penalty area, and Pedro Gonçalves didn’t hesitate, shooting into the back of the net from the 11-yard mark.
The second half turned out to be very different, from an aggressive point of view. The “disagreements” between players have multiplied, so much so that, five minutes after returning from the locker room, five yellow cards were already counted.
As the minutes went by, the teams lost intensity and, with a few bigger chances, they ‘settled’ with a 1-1 draw, now turning all attention to the ‘painful’ start to the season.
Sporting visit Sporting de Braga next Sunday for the opening day of the I Liga. The day before, Wolverhampton travel to Leeds United for the first round of the new edition of the Premier League.
Some nervousness from the former Juventus keeper, although he rarely called for intervention. He alternated good runs from the posts with a few hesitations that could have been fatal to him, and he didn’t show great confidence on the ball either. Not much could have been done to prevent Rúben Neves from scoring a penalty.
Another positive performance from the midfielder recruited from Santa Clara, especially on the defensive side, where he stood out for his aggressiveness in individual duels. With the ball, he did what fans on the island are used to, always playing simple, with one/two touches, with a quickness of reasoning, but never neglecting the criterion.
The striker acquired at Barça is still far from reaching the levels that the potential displayed in the service of Sporting de Braga augured. Although he was never afraid to face opponents in one on one and to attempt shots from distance, he was rarely happy, with the exception of an attack, in the 73rd minute, which crossed the goal post in the guard of José Sá.
The young Ghanaian promise was launched on the field by Rúben Amorim, in the 83rd minute, replacing Francisco Trincao, and was “diabolical” from the first moment. He always tried to have the ball at his feet, and even ‘sniffed’ the goal just two minutes after coming on, when he received a pass from Ricardo Esgaio, bent down the middle and shot above the bar.
The ex-Vitória SC also entered in the 83rd minute to fill the position left vacant by the departure of Pedro Gonçalves, and, although more discreet than the Ghanaian, he also left, here and there, a few good details.
Our: frank Israel; Pedro Porro, Matheus Reis, Coates, Gonçalo Inácio, Nuno Santos; Morita, Matheus Nunes; Trincao, Pedro Gonçalves and Paulinho.
Also played: Marcus Edwards, Ricardo Esgaio, Fatau Isaac and Rochinha.
Did not play: André Paulo, Diego Callai, Jeremiah St. Juste, Luís Neto, Dário Essugo, Bruno Tabata (remained on the bench), Antonio Adán, Manuel Ugarte and Daniel Bragança (injured).