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Underdogs Académica win Portuguese Cup

Published: Sunday 20 May 2012, 21.30CET
Académica de Coimbra made up for a poor Liga campaign by ending a 73-year wait for silverware, beating Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0 in the Portuguese Cup final.
by Nuno Tavares
Underdogs Académica win Portuguese Cup
Coach Ricardo Sá Pinto was unable to prevent Sporting's defeat by Académica ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Sunday 20 May 2012, 21.30CET

Underdogs Académica win Portuguese Cup

Académica de Coimbra made up for a poor Liga campaign by ending a 73-year wait for silverware, beating Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0 in the Portuguese Cup final.

Académica de Coimbra ended their 73-year old wait for a trophy with a 1-0 win against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the Portuguese Cup final.

Having only avoided relegation on the last day of the Portuguese Liga, Pedro Emanuel's men were the underdogs going into this match, but took the lead after four minutes, when Diogo Valente's cross from the left allowed Marinho to beat goalkeeper Rui Patrício with a diving header. Sporting tried to react, but the UEFA Europa League semi-finalists only managed to create one real chance before the break, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel shooting wide.

The Lions could well have been two goals behind inside the first three minutes of the second-half but Académica's Edinho failed to profit from two golden chances. Van Wolfswinkel could have equalised straight away but this time it was Académica's goalkeeper Ricardo who shone.

Sporting pressed on in search of a goal to force extra time, but created little apart from Stijn Schaars' free-kick, saved by Ricardo, and Ricardo Sá Pinto's men were unable to avoid a defeat which sends them to the third qualifying round of next season's UEFA Europa League. As a result of their win, Académica secured their place in the group stage of the same competition.

Académica coach Pedro Emanuel said: "This is the spirit that has to exist all the time. This is an amazing team which endured tough times this season but was able to use their strengths. It's an amazing present for the club, the city and all the people who believed in our team. It was a good and well-played spectacle. I'm very happy".

Last updated: 20/05/12 22.26CET

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