Sporting loses cup final after ‘horror movie’ week
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Sporting Lisbon lost the Portuguese Cup final on Sunday, only days after its players were assaulted by disgruntled fans in training.
Sporting lost 2-1 to Aves, which finished 13th in the 18-team Portuguese league and had never previously won the cup.
Alexandre Guedes scored in the 16th and 72nd minutes, while Sporting’s Fredy Montero struck in the 85th.
The result capped a tense week for Sporting after a group of fans forced its way into the team’s training center and assaulted players and staff. Police detained 21 suspects following Tuesday’s incident.
“I want to thank the fans who showed up to support us,” Sporting coach Jorge Jesus said. “It was a very complicated week, it was like a horror movie. As a coach I can’t analyze this game tactically. I have to salute the winners, they had nothing to do with what happened.”
The rampage marked the low point of an already tumultuous season for Sporting.
Club president Bruno de Carvalho launched a social media tirade against several of his own players, calling them out by name, following a defeat last month. The players responded by demanding respect and coach Jesus had to deny publicly that his players had been suspended by the club.
Sporting finished third in the Portuguese league behind Benfica and champion Porto, being unable to secure a Champions League spot for next season.