Europa League: advantage Sporting after comfortable win in Switzerland | OneFootball

Europa League: advantage Sporting after comfortable win in Switzerland | OneFootball

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·15 February 2024

Europa League: advantage Sporting after comfortable win in Switzerland

Article image:Europa League: advantage Sporting after comfortable win in Switzerland

Young Boys 1-3 Sporting

A potentially tricky away trip proved anything but as Sporting continued their excellent form to beat Young Boys 3-1 in Bern this afternoon and put themselves in prime position to reach the last 16 of the Europa League.

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An own goal by Aurèle Amenda, a Viktor Gyökeres penalty and a Gonçalo Inácio header got the job done for the Lions, with Filip Ugrinic keeping the Swiss team’s faint hopes of pulling off a shock in the second leg alive.

Rúben Amorim decided not to risk injury-prone Sebastián Coates on the synthetic pitch in Switzerland, with the Sporting captain staying in Lisbon. Daniel Bragança was given a rare start and Ricardo Esgaio and Marcus Edwards came in for Geny Catamo and Francisco Trincão respectively.

Adán shines

The Portuguese team started in lively fashion but it was the hosts who created the first chance, Lukasz Lakomy drawing a sharp save out of Antonio Adán.

And the Spanish goalkeeper had to be at his best soon afterwards, pulling off a fantastic stop from a close-range Amenda header that seemed destined for the back of the net.

Back came Sporting with Gyökeres threatening twice with angled shots with his left foot, his first effort rocketing into the side-netting, his second comfortably gathered by goalkeeper David vom Ballmoos.

Edwards takes over

The visitors took the lead in the 31st minute. Bragança and Edwards combined on the right flank, the latter’s cross turned into his own net by the unfortunate Amenda.

Sporting soon doubled their lead, Edwards again the architect as he was brought down by vom Ballmoos after a mazy run and the referee immediately pointed to the penalty spot. Gyökeres made no mistake, 0-2 to Sporting.

Young Boys hit straight back though, a swift break down the left wing leading to confusion in the box with Ugrinic doing well to latch onto the loose ball and blast it into the net despite Eduardo Quaresma’s best efforts to stop him. Both players were injured and required extensive treatment, with the Swiss midfielder having to come off at half time.

The home fans were in ecstasy on the stroke of half time as Cedric Itten lashed the ball into the net, only for the celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag.

Inácio strikes

The flurry of goals continued after the break as Gonçalo Inácio produced a textbook header low into the net in the 48th minute from a perfectly delivered Pedro Gonçalves free kick. It was the centre-back’s third goal in the competition this season, and an impressive 15th career goal for the 22-year-old defender.

Sporting were now threatening to overwhelm their opponents, Gyökeres racing towards goal before unselfishly passing to Pote, whose typically precise finish was brilliantly saved by vom Ballmoos, diving full-length to turn the ball onto the post.

A series of substitutions in the last half hour by both teams broke up the flow of the game, with Sporting content to control proceedings rather than push hard for a fourth goal.

Young Boys had a second goal ruled out late on for a narrow offside call, and moments later Ali Camara was sent off for picking up a second yellow card.

Duo debut

A two-goal victory and no injuries is just the ticket for Rúben Amorim, who also took the opportunity to give debuts to 18-year-old striker Rafael Nel and new signing Koba Koindredi, the latter showing some lovely touches in his brief cameo appearance.


[0-1] Aurèle Amenda (o.g.), 31’

[0-2] Viktor Gyökeres (pen), 41’

[1-2] Filip Ugrinic, 42’

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