The game between last season champion Benfica and runner up Sporting is considered the biggest rivalry in Macau and usually attracts bigger crowds to the stadium. This time it ended in a fair 1-1 draw. However, the so called “Portuguese derby” started with a controversy: Benfica Macau delayed the start of the match for five minutes, while the Sporting players had to wait at the entrance of the pitch. This unsportsmanlike behavior was denounced by Sporting coach Jose Maria Pegado, and Macau FA is currently investigating this incident. Offside.hk correspondent Afonso Pires summarized the highlights of the derby as well as the other games of last week’s games of the Macau Elite League.
The match itself was played at the prestigious M.U.S.T. stadium, where the pitch condition was rather poor though. Benfica started with Luis Amorim instead of Vinício de Morais Alves who got injured in the last match. Sporting started with their new signing Jorge Tavares and captain Bruno Brito who also missed the previous round due to injuries. In the first half both teams were a bit lethargic. Benfica was a bit more offensive, while Sporting explored the counter-attack. However, when Sporting striker Ho Man Hou missed a chance to score, Benfica immediately reacted. In the following attack Sporting goalkeeper Juninho caused a penalt, which William Carlos Gomes converted with success (at the second opportunity, because the referee ordered to repeat the penalty). In the second half, Sporting entered with more pressure, but Benfica had the better chances, for instance by Iuri Capelo (who was substituted by Tang Hou Fai) and fabricio Lima (substituted by Marco Meireles). However, in the last minute, Gaspard Laplaine equalized for Sporting after a free kick. Later Luisinho came for William Carlos Gomes. Substitutions for Sporting were Chan Kin Seng, Alexsandro Sampaio and Henrique Ferreira.
At the end of the match, Sporting coach Jose Maria Pegado, considered it to be “a fair result”, and Benfica coach, Bruno Álvares, said that “Sporting played very defensive and they made use their single goal chance.”
Besides the Portuguese derby, the Macau Elite League also featured some other interesting games: On Friday Ka I trashed Chuac Lun 6-1, which also confirmed that Ka I is in the race for the title. Ronieli Nascimento (2), Christopher Nwaorou (7), Alexandre Matos (35), Milton Carneiro (70), Bruno Martinhon (77) and Pascoal Júnior (85) scored for Ka I, Chan Tsz Yeung scored for Chauc Lun (69).
Similarly, the game between C.P.K. and Casa de Portugal mended 5-1 for C.P.K. After the first half, C.P.K. was already 3 goals ahead, scored by Bruno Figueiredo (22), Ho Ka Seng (30) and Diego Patriota (34). Casa de Portugal tried to react at the beginning of the second half and scored a goal at minute 47 by Miguel Botelho, but that wasn´t enough and C.P.K. reacted with two more goals by Choi Weng Hou (67) and Diego Patriota (87).
The other title chaser, Monte Carlo, only won 2-1 against Macau U-23 with the winning goal only scored in the final minutes. This was probably the biggest surprise of the round that revealed the current weaknesses of Monte Carlo which need to improve a lot if they want to win the league. While Monte Carlo was the first team to score in minute 9 by Thiago Silva, but Macau U-23 drew back level at minute 43 by Lo Ka Hou. Monte Carlo attacked the entire match and Makson Ewerton scored the winning goal in minute 89.
Lai Chi won against Policia 1-0 with the only goal of the match scored by Cheong kin Chong (7).
You can find the current table here!
Round 2 highlights:
Friday matches -> http://new.tdm.com.mo/c_news/tv_news.php?id=243474
Saturday matches -> http://new.tdm.com.mo/c_news/tv_news.php?id=243545
Sunday matches -> http://new.tdm.com.mo/c_news/tv_news.php?id=243632
Preview of Week 3
The biggest game in the next round will be C.P.K. vs. Ka I, with Ka I being the favorite but C.P.K. will not be easy to beat. The other big teams will have relatively unspectacular games ahead, with Benfica facing Lai Chi on Friday, Sporting playing against Chuac Lun on Saturday and Monte Carlo facing Policia on Sunday. Casa de Portugal and Macau U-23 will close the third round with an interesting match, maybe with a little advantage for Casa de Portugal but the final result will be definitely unpredictable.
Round 3 fixtures:
30/01 – Benfica de Macau VS Lai Chi
31/01 – Chuac Lun VS Sporting de Macau
31/01 – Windsor Arch Ka I VS CPK
01/02 – Policia VS Monte Carlo
01/02 – Macau U-23 VS Casa de Portugal
Photo Credits: Pedro André Santos