Surprise-package Academica earned a shock 1-0 win
over Sporting in Sunday's Portuguese Cup final, snatching the trophy thanks to
an early goal by winger Marinho.
Coimbra-based Academica, nicknamed "the students", had won the Cup only
once, in its very first edition in 1939. The defeat dealt a severe blow to
Sporting and coach Ricardo Sa Pinto who end the season trophy-less.
Marinho, the shortest player on the pitch, wrote his name in Academica's
history books when he sneaked behind Sporting's defence and headed home after
only four minutes.
Sporting, recognised as one of Portugal's "big three" clubs together with
Benfica and Porto, were slow and often clumsy in their build-up play and
succumbed to Academica's focused and well-organised tactics.
The Lisbon club missed their best chance to equalise in the second half when
Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel failed to beat keeper Ricardo when through
But Academica, who had to battle hard to avoid relegation this season,
fought on and ended their season in glory thanks to some resolute defending.
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