NICK LEYDEN - Thursday, January 19, 2012
Oguchi Onyewu once again played all 90 minutes in a disappointing tie between Sporting and second division Moreirense in the Taça da Liga.
Sporting's January nightmare continued in the Estádio José Alvalade as they again failed to earn their first win of 2012 after five games.
The Lions dominated possession against their unheralded guests, who were content to play on the counter attack, though a lack of precision in the attack eventually condemned Sporting to a tie.
Diego Capel gave the Lisbon team a 28th minute lead when he took advantage of a deflected clearance that fell to him inside the box.
But Sporting's lead would last only seven minutes before Nabil Ghilas scored on a highlight worthy scissor kick in the 35th minute.
The goal capped an exemplary counter attack in which the ball was eventually worked to Luis Pinto on the right wing. The midfielder then launched a perfect cross into the box where the Frenchman acrobatically capitalized after being given too much space by Gooch and Alberto Rodriguez.
Sporting continued to control the game in the second half, though the winning goal never came despite having the clearest of opportunities.
Valeri Bojinov will be particularly singled out by the Sporting faithful for his failure to clinch the victory in stoppage time.
Substitute attacker Jeffren drew a dubious penalty in the 93rd minute, and Bojinov proceeded to wrest the ball from Matias Fernandez at the spot before having his attempt saved by Ricardo Ribeiro.
The Bulgarian then contrived to miss another opportunity a minute later when a Sporting corner fell to him at the back post.
The Lions have recently dropped points in the league, as well as both domestic cup competitions, the latest of which puts Sporting in the unexpected position of needing to handily beat Gil Vicente in the final group game of the Taça da Liga in order to advance.
First, though, Gooch and crew will visit Olhanense for a league game on 1/23.