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Sunday, 09 March 2014 18:57

Farcical officiating grabs the headlines in Setúbal

Vitória de Setúbal 2-2 Sporting

Referee Vasco Santos stole the show in what was perhaps the most poorly officiated game of the season. Sporting took the lead through a controversial goal from Islam Slimani just minutes after Adrien Silva's clean goal had been ruled out for offside. Setúbal equalised in the second half before two late and incorrect penalties at either end were both converted to mean both sides shared the points and Benfica moved further ahead of the Primeira Liga.
Sporting made the short journey to Setúbal to try and keep in touch with league-leaders Benfica, who hosting Estoril. They faced former Sporting caretaker manager and presidential candidate José Couceiro's Vitória de Setúbal side who have had 3 wins in their last 5 games after a tough January. 
Starting for Setúbal was Sporting loanee João Mário, with Betinho on the bench. Elsewhere Adama François took his position in defence ahead of the suspended Ozéia. Leonardo Jardim made three changes to his team with Islam Slimani, Gérson Magrão and André Carrillo all starting ahead of Fredy Montero, André Martins and Wilson Eduardo.
It was Vitória de Setúbal who began the game on top. João Mário, in particular, showing what a promising prospect he is in midfield.
In the 28th minute Setúbal had their first big chance of the game when Pedro Tiba surged into the box from midfield but his shot was well saved by Rui Patrício.

The controversy begins

Just minutes later the game had its first controversial moment when Adrien Silva had a goal disallowed for offside. Héldon Ramos had crossed for Islam Slimani to head at goal but Paweł Kieszek saved well from close range. Adrien Silva got to the ball first to finish the rebound but the assistant referee flagged for offside with replays showing the midfielder was onside.
It went from one bad mistake to another for the officials as Islam Slimani was awarded a goal for what looked like a great save from Kieszek. Again Slimani rose to head a cross, only for the diving Kieszek to claw it away, but Slimani claimed the goal and it was given. Replays were inconclusive as to whether or not the ball crossed the line but it looked like the goal perhaps should not have stood.
The goals may have evened themselves out but it seemed somewhat harsh on Setúbal to be behind after being the better side for the opening stages. The home side's defence were finding it difficult to cope with Islam Slimani.
The Algerian had a chance to double Sporting's lead just after half-time when he found space from a corner kick. Just yards away from goal Slimani headed just wide in what would prove to be a costly miss.

Rafael Martins equalises

Setúbal levelled the game minutes later through Rafael Martins after some great build-up play by the home side and a finish drilled low and hard past Rui Patrício.
The goal seemed to give confidence to José Couceiro's men as they continued to pressure Sporting. Central-defender Maurício conceded a freekick to Setúbal just outside the box and was given a yellow card by Vasco Santos, meaning he will now miss the Porto game next weekend due to suspension.
The impressive Ricardo Horta almost put Setúbal ahead in the 77th minute with what would have been a sensational goal. The young winger beat William Carvalho and Maurício before fizzing a shot just wide of Patrício's post.

A dramatic end

Controversial refereeing was the main focus again in the 85th minute. There was a big shout for a Sporting penalty when Islam Slimani looked like he was shoved in the area but Vasco Santos did not give Sporting the decision.
Santos then gave a penalty seconds later when Diego Capel went down in the box under the slightest touch from Pedro Quierós. It looked soft but Adrien Silva wasn't complaining as he stepped up to score what looked to be the winning goal for Sporting.
Except Vasco Santos struck again. This time, Zequinha certainly went down without even a challenge in the area but the referee pointed to the spot for Setúbal in the 90th minute. Ricardo Horta stepped up and sent Rui Patrício the wrong way to bring the teams level again.
It was a dramatic end to a hugely controversial game in the Estádio do Bonfim. The draw was perhaps a fair result in hindsight but the emphasis will be on the officiating of Vasco Santos and his team. This is nothing new in Portugal, but this time an analysis of the officiating seems justified.
It made it a huge night for Benfica after their win over Estoril, with the Eagles going seven points clear at the top. The draw also gives Porto hope of reclaiming second place in the league. Porto could move to a just two points behind Sporting before their trip to the Alvalade in the next round.
by Richard Cole

Vitória de Setúbal:
Paweł Kieszek; Pedro Quierós, Frederico Venâncio, Nélson Pedroso; Dani, Pedro Tiba, João Mário; Zequinha, Ricardo Horta, Rafael Martins (Miguel Pedro, 81')

Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Maurício, Marcos Rojo, Jefferson; William Carvalho, Gérson Magrão (Fredy Montero, 58'), Adrien Silva; André Carrillo (Wilson Eduardo, 79'), Héldon Ramos (Diego Capel, 64'), Islam Slimani

[0-1] Islam Slimani, 34'
[1-1] Rafael Martins, 52'
[1-2] Adrien Silva (pen), 87'
[2-2] Ricardo Horta (pen), 89'

Comments (3)
3 Tuesday, 11 March 2014 18:36
The following was asked in abola.pt;

Sporting perdeu pontos em Setúbal por culpa do árbitro?
52% YES

I was happy with that result since by all accounts you can also ask;
Setubal perdeu pontos contra Sporting por culpa do árbitro?

I know that Carvalho has used the "us vs the world" rhetoric, in order to galvanize the fan base, but its getting old now.
Stating that they've stolen first from them and now they'll see about second, is a bit much.

Keep in mind, I'm actually hoping that Sporting takes second. They could use the guaranteed money that comes with the CL Group Stages.
Porto should be better set financially to cope with the CL Qualifiers.
2 Tuesday, 11 March 2014 16:24
It was a horrible game. 1st goal was clean. Slimani's goal wasnt. Setubal's was offside.. Rafael martins was behind the defense when the ball was given to him. Both penalties were nom existent. Setubal did play better than sporting but it should have been 1-0.
1 Tuesday, 11 March 2014 00:47
Not one comment from the Sportinguistas. I only saw the last 10 minutes of the match, so I cannot provide much in the way of an opinion. However, both penalties appeared to be very soft. Anytime Capel goes down the call deserves further review, IMO.

From the comments of others, a draw appears to have been a just result. I think that the back line will struggle against Porto w/o Mauricio. Dier just doesnt seem to be of the same quality. I hope I am wrong on that one.

Any comment from De Carvalho yet? I would have thought that by now he would be leading a protest march to the front door of the referees house...

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