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Sporting survive Rapid test

Thursday, 30 September 2004

[1] Two goals from the first leg proved decisive for Sporting Clube de Portugal, as they played out a goalless draw with SK Rapid Wien at the Gerhard Hanappi stadium in Vienna to go through to the group stage of the UEFA Cup 2-0 on aggregate.

Few chances

[2] Despite putting in a performance high on effort, Rapid struggled to create chances against a Sporting side reduced to ten men when Hugo was sent off with four minutes remaining.

Nervy start

[3] After a nervy start, the first chance fell to Sporting on eleven minutes. Liedson played a perfectly weighted pass through to Tinga and from close-range the Brazilian was denied by an excellent stop with his feet by Jürgen Macho.

Douala chance

[4] Sporting seemed intent on putting their poor domestic form behind them and were gaining in confidence, going close again eight minutes later. Good interplay between Rogerio and Roudolphe Douala created an opportunity for the Cameroonian which he failed to take, dragging his shot past the far post.

Garics injury

[5] It was a first half devoid of goalscoring opportunities, with Rapid's closest efforts being a Markus Katzer shot on 26 minutes, and a Steffen Hofmann free-kick which drifted just wide two minutes later. The home side's woes were added to three minutes before the break, when György Garics was forced off with a leg injury.

No flow

[6] The second half picked up where the first had ended, with no real flow and few chances. Those that did arrive again fell to the visitors, and after seven minutes Macho needed to be alert, pulling off a good save at his near post to deny Douala.

Ricardo underworked

[7] For the home side it was a case of plenty of possession but no end product, with Sporting goalkeeper Ricardo rarely called into action. At the other end, Macho was kept busy, but could only watch when, on 74 minutes, Rogerio squandered a great chance after being fed by Douala.

Last chance

[8] Rapid kept pushing and, after Sebastian Martínez had volleyed wide on 79 minutes, saw a glimmer of hope when Sporting were reduced to ten men. With susbstitute Axel Lawaree through on goal, Hugo pulled him down and was promptly dismissed for a professional foul. From the resulting free-kick Rapid's last chance came and went, as Hofmann's drive was pushed into the path of Martínez who struck the outside of the post.

Rapid's Steffen Hofmann is watched by Custódio and Joseph Enakarhire