Sporting CP – Match Report vs. Belenenses 26/06/20

Sporting CP won 1-3 against Belenenses away from home after they conceded the 1-0 just after nine minutes, when Lica tapped in a Nilton Varela cross. Sporting equalized quickly after Hervé Koffi made a huge error and managed to score another two in the remainder of the first half. They set up in a 3-4-3 formation and build it out from the back, but were quite sloppy and failed to progress it up the pitch properly at times. Especially the right side of the pitch with Ristovski, Quaresma and Nunes struggled in building it out properly, despite the fact that Ristovski was dangerous higher up the pitch, providing an assist for Jovane Cabral’s amazing 1-2.

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Luís Maximiano

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 05/01/1999
  • Club: Sporting CP
  • Career: SC Braga (Y), Sporting CP (Y)
  • Position: goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: both

Luis Maximiano was the goalkeeper in this match for Sporting and conceded one goal. He could not do much about the goal and had a rather quiet match during the remainder of the match. He showed good hands with shots from long range and mainly chose for long balls, which did not often find their target.

Rating – A2

A very talented goalkeeper for sure.

Eduardo Quaresma

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 02/03/2002
  • Club: Sporting CP
  • Career: Sporting CP (Y)
  • Position: central defender
  • Preferred foot: right

Eduardo Quaresma played as a left central defender in a three at the back formation. He had his worst game for Sporting yet, which can happen as he is still only 18 years old. Quaresma made a small error at the 1-0, as he cleared the ball straight to the feet of Nilton Varela, who then crossed it towards the near post where Lica tapped it in from close range. After that, Quaresma looked indecisive in the duels as he hesitated to step out of the defensive line which led to him not covering both possibilities. This means that he did not cover the run in behind but also not the man that was in possession.

The 18-year-old struggled to make an impression on the ball, but kept calm, sometimes too calm, in the tight spaces and lost the ball a couple of times when he was in these situations. While being calm often helps Quaresma, this time it went wrong often and he should have just played it long a few times. Also, his reaction time lacked in the 1v1 duels as his opponent managed to get past him by simply turning him without even being that quick on the turn. Eduardo Quaresma did show his good acceleration and pace once again and proved to have a good recovery tackle.

Rating – A2

His worst performance for Sporting so far, but he has proved to be a very talented defender plenty of times already.

Matheus Nunes

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 27-08-1998
  • Club: Sporting CP
  • Career: Estoril, Sporting (Y)
  • Position: attacking midfield
  • Secondary position: left winger
  • Preferred foot: right

Matheus Nunes played as a right central midfielder in this game and managed to make a good impression. However, I think that he does not fully suit the role he plays in now and that he fits better as an attacking midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 or as the most advanced midfielder in a 4-3-3. He formed a partnership with Wendel in midfield. On the ball, he showed that he has a good technique, which means that he can control the ball well, he is able to make a good first touch under pressure and has a good passing technique.

He showed this good passing technique often and proved to have a good passing range, completing a lot of his long passes and making the good decision to spread the play and look for players into space. Matheus Nunes did not create any chances, but showed that he is a creative passer and that he can grow in this role. The Brazilian struggled in defence though. He has a good physique which helps him in the defensive duels, but he often failed to fulfill his tasks in defence as he struggled to cope with agile players that turned him and his positioning was not ideal at times.

Rating – A2

I definitely need to focus more on this player, as I think he is interesting and could be used more efficiently.

Jovane Cabral

  • Nationality: Cape Verdean
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 14-06-1998
  • Club: Sporting
  • Career: Sporting (Y)
  • Position: right winger
  • Secondary position: left winger
  • Preferred foot: right

Jovane Cabral played as a left winger in this match and scored two goals. He got subbed off after 45 minutes because he got injured in the first half. Despite scoring two goals, he once again proved to have limitations to his game which could hinder him in future years as well. The Cape Verdean got into good positions between the lines to receive in space from Borja, Nuno Mendes or Wendel and had an okay first touch which helped him to progress higher up the pitch to attempt a dribble.

During the times that he attempted a dribble, he showed an explosive acceleration and he was very fast in the first meters. However, he relied too much on his acceleration which made him quite predictable. He is not able to turn quickly whenever he is sprinting. This makes him easier to defend and could definitely hinder him when he is playing against better teams. However, he had a very good finish at the 1-2 where he proved to have a good technique and converted the penalty at the second time of asking to score the 1-3.

Rating – B1

I think that Sporting is his barrier and it would surprise me if he did well in a better league at this rate.

Nuno Mendes

  • Nationality: Portuguese
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 19/06/2002
  • Club: Sporting
  • Career: Sporting (Y)
  • Position: left-back
  • Preferred foot: left

Nuno Mendes played as a left wing-back in the match against Belenenses and at the age of just 18, he showed that he has talent but that there are definitely things that he needs to work on if he wants to make it to the top. Nuno Mendes is a very positive defender and liked to step out of the defensive line to put pressure higher up the pitch. However, he could sometimes take it too far and put pressure on the opponents right wing back or right central defender which sometimes got Sporting into trouble on the left side of the pitch.

He was aggressive and showed good strength in the defensive duels. He dominated in the defensive area when he needed to defend in the 1v1 as he is a great athlete with great acceleration and speed. Nuno Mendes showed good technique on the ball as he could link-up with Jovane Cabral in the tight spaces and proved to have a good short passing technique. He got his crosses into good areas but both his crosses and long passes lacked accuracy in this match.

Rating – A2

Needs to learn to not overcommit too much, but at the age of 18 he shows great promise and I am excited to watch more footage of the left-back.

Wendel

  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 28-08-1997
  • Club: Sporting
  • Career: Fluminense (Y), Fluminense, Sporting
  • Position: central midfielder
  • Secondary position: defensive midfielder and attacking midfielder
  • Preferred foot: right

Wendel played as a left central midfielder in this match and he was the main man for Sporting when in possession. He was very active without the ball and was always in space to receive the pass. Wendel proved to be very good in the tight spaces and never panicked when he was put under pressure. He has a great ball control and technique and is able to link up with his teammates well. The Brazilian often looked to make runs in behind but was not found. He has good acceleration on the ball and has the physical ability to hold off his opponent. He anticipates well in defence and timed his interceptions well. Only at one occasion he was too late.

Rating – A1

He has been my favourite player of Sporting for a long time and this has not changed in this match. He is definitely ready to step up to the top 5 leagues.

Gonzalo Plata

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 01-11-2000
  • Club: Sporting
  • Career: Independiente del Valle (Y), Independiente del Valle, Sporting (Y)
  • Position: right winger
  • Secondary position: left winger
  • Preferred foot: left

The Ecuadorian right winger had a quiet match, despite providing one assist as he took the set-pieces and Coates headed in his corner. Gonzalo Plata did not get on the ball that many times, but every time that he was on the ball he showed good strength on the ball, made the right decisions and that he is very creative on the ball. The 19-year-old has a very good passing range and is able to switch the play with ease. He often positioned himself in the half-space which allowed him to get into possession in space, but he could be a little bit more active with his off the ball movement.

Rating – A2

I think he should stay at Sporting for at least one more season, but it would make sense to take a look at Plata as he is the most talented player of Sporting in my opinion.

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