Sporting Clube de Portugal were defeated by Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan 2-1 in the second matchday of group 4 of the A-squad’s qualifying round for the Elite Round.
Unlike the previous day, which had defeated (3-2) the Belarussians of Lida, the team led by coach Nuno Dias had a bad start in the meeting. The ‘lions’ conceded their first goal in the fifth minute thanks to Taynan’s finish and saw their opponents extend their lead to 12 through Rangel Taian.
With the difference in the score, Sporting tried to react, but the best they managed was to reduce before the interval, at 15, by ‘fixed’ Erick Mendonça, following a tour of Merlin.
Already in the second half, the ‘lions’ sought to correct some things and leave definitively in search of the goal of the tie. However, until the final whistle the ‘leonina’ pressure was not able to find the way again, thus losing to the Kazakh team, who has twice won the European title in the modality (2012/13 and 2014/15).
With this result, Sporting fell to second place in Group 4 with three points, three fewer than Kairat. The Belarusian Lida and the Feniks, from Kosovo, still dispute the other clash of the group.
The other Portuguese team participating in the European Champions League, Benfica, are part of group 1 of ‘poule’ A, along with Barcelona, Spain, France’s Kremlin-Bicêtre United and FP Halle-Gooik, of Belgium.
This first phase has 32 teams divided into two ‘poules’, each composed of four groups of four teams. In the first grouping, in which the two Portuguese clubs are, the first three qualifiers of each group for the Elite Round are established. In the ‘poule’ B only the winners of each of the four groups are qualified.