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Sporting power past Panionios

Thursday, 4 November 2004

[1] Sporting Clube de Portugal got their UEFA Cup Group D campaign off to a winning start with a comfortable home victory against Panionios NFC, a result that leaves the Greek side at the bottom of the section.

Late goals

[2] Sporting opened the lead through Custódio on five minutes and although Karlos Marcora equalised, the effervescent Roudolphe Douala restored the lead before half-time. Liedson and Hugo Viana then completed the scoring with two goals in quick succession as the game reached its conclusion.

Zimonjic absence

[3] Sporting came in to the game on the back of a 3-0 win against FC Penafiel at the weekend and José Peseiro opted to stick with the same starting eleven. Panionios, who were without the injured Saša Zimonjic, brought in an extra midfield player in the shape of Fanourios Goundoulakis, while Evangelos Mantzios dropped to the bench.

Custódio opener

[4] The tactic failed to reap reward, however, and when Custódio rose unmarked to head in Hugo Viana's right-wing corner, Egaleo had barely touched the ball. Liedson and Hugo Viana both had efforts blocked then Douala, whose pace troubled the sluggish Panionios back-line, ran on to a long ball and cut back to Fabio Rochemback, whose shot was blocked.

Shock equaliser

[5] On 26 minutes, the Greek side almost levelled through Goundoulakis, though Ricardo was alert to the danger. But if that was a warning for the Lisbon outfit, they did not heed it and less than ten minutes later it was 1-1. Marcora ran on to a pass on the edge of the area and this time Ricardo could do nothing as the Uruguayan slotted the ball in to the corner of the net.

Douala goal

[6] Parity did not last long as Standard soon regained the advantage through the livey Douala, who swung the ball somewhat unorthodoxly into the corner of the net after incisive passing from Hugo Viana and Rogerio.

Disallowed effort

[7] Goundoulakis had a goal disallowed six minutes after the interval when he ran on to a well lofted cross-field ball and slid a shot to Ricardo's right, but the referee's assistant adjudged him offside and that proved to be the Athens side's last real chance of the game.

Lively Liedson

[8] Liedson became more of a presence in the second period after having a quiet first half. On 68 minutes, the Brazilian darted into the box and beat three defenders but shot straight at the grateful Sorin Colceag. He was more successful eleven minutes later though, when - with the slightest of touches on Hugo Viana's in-swinging free-kick - he scored his eighth goal of the season.

Delightful chip

[9] Hugo Viana then capped a dominant performance by the home team with the goal of the gamea sublime chip from the edge of the box. The win means that Sporting lie second in Group D, three points behind Hugo Vianas permanent employers Newcastle United FC. They next play on 25 November against FC Dinamo Tbilisi, with whom Egaleo now share bottom place.

Sporting's Carlos Martins slides in on Savas Exouzidis of Panionios