Dutch striker Ricky van
Wolfswinkel and Argentine Fabian Rinaudo both scored to help
Sporting beat 10-man Nacional 3-1 on Wednesday and secure a
berth in Portugal's cup final.
Hosts Nacional started strongly and hit the bar in the
opening minutes but it was Sporting midfielder Rinaudo, back
after a long injury, who scored the opener with a cleanly-taken
drive in the 17th minute.
Sporting coach Domingos Paciencia had flagged the domestic cup as his new priority after a poor run of form left his side
trailing 13 points behind leaders Benfica, in fourth place in
the Portuguese Premier League.
Paciencia's ambitions hung in the balance when Nacional
forward Diego Barcellos headed an equaliser in the second half.
Sporting had travelled to the Atlantic island of Madeira
needing a win or a goal-filled tie after they were held to a 2-2
home draw in the first leg.
The visitors got their breakthrough when Wolfswinkel
converted from the spot to put Sporting back in front with 20
minutes to go and breathed a sigh of relief deep in stoppage-time when Joao Pereira made it 3-1.
"We suffered to win this one but we battled on and should
congratulate ourselves," Paciencia told journalists.
Sporting will meet Academica in the cup final.
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010