Sporting 1-0 Lille: Match Report
Sporting at the summitSporting secured top spot in Europa League Group C with a low-key 1-0 win over Lille.Anderson Polga scored the only goal of a match which only sporadically flickered into life, with the home team enjoying the balance of power for much of the 90 minutes and deservedly emerging as victors.Lille go into their final game against Gent with second place on the line, needing a victory to overhaul the Belgians and proceed to the last 32.Lille were first to threaten as Tulio De Melo met Emerson's cross, but keeper Rui Patricio caught his header.Sporting defender Evaldo called visiting keeper Mickael Landreau into action for the first time with a left-foot drive from 18 yards which was parried away.Anderson Polga then launched an ambitious long-range drive over the bar and went closer shortly afterwards, heading Pedro Mendes' corner against the crossbar.Landreau parried away Helder Postiga's drive as the hosts took command, and the same attacker saw another effort blocked by defender David Rozenhal.Sporting deservedly broke the deadlock in the 28th minute. Anderson Polga met another Mendes corner with a firm header six yards out, and this time successfully kept his effort below the crossbar.Ludovic Obraniak led a rare Lille attack but shot straight at Rui Patricio, and Landreau was given a similarly easy task by Yannick Djalo at the other end.Lille had two carbon-copy chances as the half came to a close. Anderson Polga and Joao Pereira were both yellow-carded after conceding free-kicks in dangerous positions and from the set-pieces, whipped in on both occasions by Eden Hazard, first Antonio Mavuba and then Aurelien Chedjou were off target with headers.Obraniak shot over early in the second period, before Hazard's powerful effort from 18 yards was blocked by Sporting midfielder Andre Santos.Florent Balmont also had a sight of goal, but his drive from the edge of the box bounced to safety off Daniel Carrico.The French side came closest to an equaliser 10 minutes from the end when Yohan Cabaye's corner caused havoc in the Sporting penalty area. Rozenhal failed to make sufficient connection with his initial header, a second effort from Pierre-Alain Frau was parried by Rui Patricio and Cabaye himself then got in on the act, his close-range effort gathered by the keeper.Sporting had introduced Simon Vukcevic for Postiga shortly before that melee and the Montenegro midfielder drilled a free-kick into the wall shortly afterwards.Emerson blocked Liedson's effort from a Vukcevic cross and, at the other end, subsitute Moussa Sow fired Lille's last chance over the bar.Deep into stoppage time, the lively Vukcevic rattled the crossbar from 20 yards as Sporting sealed their qualification.
Sporting 1-0 Lille: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.
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