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Youngsters suffer defeat at Sporting CP

Sporting CP 2-0 Spurs (UEFA Youth League)

Tue 13 September 2022, 12:52|Tottenham Hotspur

Sporting CP proved too much for our Under-19s as they secured a comfortable 2-0 victory in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday.

After controlling the majority of the first half, Mateus Fernandes gave the hosts a deserved lead two minutes before the break, with Rodrigo Ribeiro sliding home from close range in the second period to rubber-stamp the points in Group D.

In truth, we struggled to cause Sporting any real problems and were indebted to goalkeeper Luca Gunter for a string of first-half saves which prevented the home side from running away with it at Stadium Aurelio Pereira in Alcochete.

Indeed, the Portuguese outfit also hit the woodwork twice in the space of 60 seconds amid a below-par display from us over the first 45 minutes, during which Jamie Donley's early volley from Romaine Mundle's wide free-kick was our only attempt at goal. At the other end, centre-forward Ribeiro dragged a shot wide and then had another effort charged down in the box by Donley as Sporting tried to capitalise on a wayward clearance from Gunter. The hosts cranked up the pressure around the half-hour mark with Diogo Cabral finding the side netting before David Monteiro hit the base of the post from distance and Ribeiro curled a right-footed shot onto the crossbar in short order. Gunter then saved Renato Veiga's header before pulling off a superb stop to keep out Cabral's shot - the goalkeeper really was influential during that period of the game as he single-handedly kept Sporting at bay.

The hosts finally found a breakthrough in the 43rd minute when a cross from the left was knocked down to Ribeiro and he couldn't miss from eight yards out. Although we tightened up in certain areas at the break, it was still largely one-way traffic in the opening exchanges of the second period, Ribeiro producing a fine save from Gunter down to his right and Diogo Travasso missing the target after going clean through on goal.

Striker Jaden Williams tested Diego Callai from a tight angle on the right as we started to make inroads into the Sporting defence, but any hopes of a fightback took a real hit when the hosts made it 2-0 in the 58th minute, Cabral shrugging off Will Andiyapan down the right and sliding the ball across goal for Mateus to tap in.

We kept probing in search of an opening, but the closest either team went after that was when defender Alfie Dorrington recovered well after his own initial mistake to deny Sporting substitute Isnaba Mane.

Sporting CP 2-0 Spurs (UEFA Youth League)

Sporting CP: Callai, Monteiro (Mane 80), Batista, Veiga, Travasso, Essugo (c) (Cruz 86), Cabral (Marques 80), Justo, Ribeiro, Mateus, Moreira. Substitutes (not used): Francisco Silva, Silva, Arreiol, Nel.

Spurs: Gunter, Abbott (Bloxham 80), Ashcroft, Andiyapan (Chaplin 74), Dorrington, Craig (c), Mundle, John, Williams (Hall 80), Donley, Mathurin (McKnight 46). Substitutes (not used): Maguire, Linton, Irow.

Match data

Goals: Sporting CP - Mateus 43, Ribeiro 58.

Yellow cards: Sporting CP - Essugo 82; Spurs - McKnight 50, John 85.

Referee: Luca Pairetto (Italy).

Venue: Stadium Aurelio Pereira, Alcochete.

Weather: Mild, occasional thundery showers, 21 degrees.

Attendance: 645.