Ten-man Sporting Clube de Portugal completed a remarkable comeback to lift the Portuguese Cup after battling from 2-0 down to take SC Braga to penalties and prevail 5-3 from the spot.
The Lisbon giants went into the decider having beaten Braga twice in the league, but they were left reeling on 14 minutes when Djavan da Silva Ferreira sped down the left, eluded two opponents and was brought down in the area. Cédric was promptly dismissed for the challenge and Éder converted the resultant spot kick.
Things got worse for the Lions with 25 minutes gone as Rafa Silva finished between Rui Patrício's legs following a Braga counterattack, but Marco Silva's men responded strongly after the restart. It took them until the 84th minute to finally grab a goal, though, Islam Slimani pouncing on a poor clearance.
Sporting still had work to do, yet they denied Braga victory in the final minute when Fredy Montero registered after his initial effort had been saved. That ensured 30 minutes of extra time, which produced no further goals despite a number of chances – and a second yellow card for Braga's Mauro.
Penalties were therefore required to separate the teams and, after burying their first attempt, Braga missed their subsequent three to hand Sporting a first cup triumph since 2008.
"We were lucky in the way that our goals happened, but we deserved this result," said Marco Silva. "We were down psychologically but managed to pick ourselves up and win. This time we had luck on our side, something that's sometimes been lacking this season."
Winger Nani, playing his last game before returning to Manchester United FC, added: "This trophy has a different flavour because of the way we won it. It was a great game and we were in serious trouble. Despite that, we gathered our strength and had faith that we could change things. Fortunately, everything ended well for us."
The fans couldn’t help themselves and decided to celebrate the win with the players up close! pic.twitter.com/c4SkgD8uOZ
— Sporting CP_en (@SportingCP_en) May 31, 2015
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