Matthew Horton reviews the Portuguese Cup final.
SCP arrived for the final of the Taça de Liga against arch rivals SL Benfica looking to avoid a repeat of last years defeat to Vitoria Setubal on penalties. Again a sold out Estádio do Algarve was the venue for the final.
Goalkeeper Quim returned in goal for Benfica after being absent since the semi final victory over Guimarães. Sporting had their own problems with Pereirinha coming into the line up because of an injury to Izmailov.
It was Pereirinha who got the opening goal of the game on '48 to push Sporting into the lead but Benfica replied on 75 minutes when Reyes converted from the penalty spot. This was moments after SCP's Pedro Silva was shown a second yellow card, he then lost the plot pushing the referee before leaving the field of play.
So it was all square after the regulation 90 minutes and it was going to be a penalty shoot out which settled the 2008/09 Carlsberg Cup final. Sporting edged ahead after Romagnoli confidently dispatched his penalty and then Tiago saved from Aimar. More drama followed as Quim saved the next penalty from Rochemback as Cardozo evened things up. João Moutinho then put Sporting in front again before the penalty from Katsouranis sailed over the bar to leave Sporting 2-1 up after three kicks each.
Quim then stepped into the breach to become the hero for Benfica, first saving from Derlei and Helder Postiga as successes from Daviz Luiz and Carlos Martins ensured a 3-2 win for Benfica and more penalty heartbreak for SCP in the Carlsberg Cup Final.
Tiago, Pedro Silva, Daniel Carriço, Polga, Caneira, Pereirinha, Rochemback, João Moutinho, Vukcevic, Derlei e Liedson.
Substitutes: Rui Patrício, Adrien, Tonel, Yannick, Postiga, Romagnoli e Abel.
Quim, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Miguel Vítor, David Luiz, Katsouranis, Ruben Amorim, Reyes, Aimar, Nuno Gomes e Suazo.
Substitutes: Moreira, Cardozo, Di María, Carlos Martins, Jorge Ribeiro, Yebda, Sidnei.