by Simon Daish
Opening its campaign with a surprise away win against AS Pontoise-Cergy, Sporting Clube de Portugal went on to double its points tally in Group A with an encouraging home display against Polish opponents K.S. Dartom Bogoria Grodzisk Mazowiecki.
The positive start puts the Portuguese side in a strong group position, and coach Chen Shi Chao believes that his team can head into the upcoming fixtures with confidence.
“It was very important to win these first two days so that we can have less pressure now. We are happy. We will continue to work to fight in the next games”, Chen Shi Chao.
One of the driving forces of Sporting Clube de Portugal’s success on the Champions League stage has been João Monteiro, who is yet to suffer a defeat in the campaign.
Registering a brace against AS Pontoise-Cergy proved vital to Sporting’s win in France, but João Monteiro has stated that winning in front of the home fans in the second group encounter was a standout moment for him.
“I have played on big stages with a lot of public, but it was special to play before the members and fans of the club of my heart, in this fabulous hall”, João Monteiro.
There is also a strong Nigerian presence in the Sporting squad with Bode Abiodun and Quadri Aruna both featuring in the player roster, and the latter player is determined to use this Champions League campaign as a platform to strengthen his game.
“I am feeling very good to be able to help the team succeed and to be a part of the history of this fantastic club in this event that is the most important at European level. I will continue to train and to improve”, Quadri Aruna.
Awaiting Sporting Clube de Portugal in the next set of Men’s Champions League group stage fixtures is a difficult encounter away to the defending champions TTC Fakel Gazprom Orenburg on Friday 27th October.