3 minute read
26 Jul 2015
7:06 pm

Sporting win Cape Town Cup

Fredy Montero was the star for Sporting Clube de Portugal who were crowned Cape Town Cup champions following their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.

Sporting Lisbon celebrate winning the 2015 Cape Town Cup Final Football Match between Sporting Lisbon and Crystal Palace at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, 26 July 2015 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Montero scored both of his team’s goals during the second-half as the Portuguese side struck a good balance between attack and defence throughout the contest.

For Palace it was a case of too little too late, while it must be said that Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio was in prolific form in front of goal.

As was the case in their 4-0 triumph over SuperSport United, Palace showed their intent from the opening minute with Jordon Mutch forcing a save from Patricio who did well to keep the ball out.

Sporting were, understandably, always going to be far more organised in defence and soon after the dust settled they managed to put pressure on the new look Eagles back-four that was selected for this pre-season friendly.

Sporting managed to win two early corners while their third was a result of a slip-up by new keeper Alex McCarthy.

McCarthy read the attempt at his goal well and the tightly contested battle continued with both sides leaving nothing to chance.

While Palace were comfortable sending fewer men up-field, Sporting continued to push and by the 20th minute of the contest they enjoyed the upper-hand in the territorial stakes – although they struggled to get any decent shots on target.

One of the concerns Sporting will have at the completion of the match is the fitness of Ruben Semedo who was substituted after he appeared to have dislocated his shoulder.

He was substituted by Joao Mario in the 37th minute.

In what turned out to be the highlight of the first half, McCarthy did well to keep out a picture perfect free-kick which was delivered by Jefferson right after the first substitution was made.

Sporting would win five corners in the first-half while Palace had to wait until added time for their second of the half, but the shot in hardly troubled a vigilant Patricio who had a rather quiet opening half.

As expected, both sides would ring the changes after the half-time break.

While Mutch probed for the opener, Palace still struggled to retain field position – often handing over possession cheaply – and that resulted in more chances for Sporting.

Having defended most of the afternoon, a gap finally opened up in the 71st minute and Fredy Montero made no mistake with with his free-kick attempt which bounced-off the near post leaving McCarthy with no chance of the save.

Down 1-nil Palace raced back to try and get the equaliser and came close, only for James McArthur’s shot to be stopped by Patricio.

While the level of urgency from Palace increased, Sporting did well under pressure.

Scott Dann then had a brilliant opportunity to level the scores in the 77th minute, but again Patricio produced a spectacular save.

From the more conservative first half approach to a desperate final quarter, Palace may very well rue the fact that they didn’t produce the same level of urgency they showed after Sporting scored the opener.

And as they pushed to try and get the goal, Sporting capitalised on the gaps that were opening up at the back.

Montero bagged his second in the 87th minute as he finished-off a brilliant run by Islaml Slimani.