‘Students’ stun Sporting
Surprise-package Academica earned a shock 1-0 win over Sporting in Sunday’s Portuguese Cup final, snatching the trophy thanks to an early goal by winger Marinho. Coimbra-based Academica, nicknamed “the students,” had won the Cup only once before, in its very first edition in 1939. The defeat dealt a severe blow to Sporting and coach Ricardo Sa Pinto, who end the season trophyless. Marinho, the shortest player on the pitch, wrote his name in Academica’s history books when he sneaked behind Sporting’s defense and headed home after only four minutes. Sporting were slow and often clumsy in their buildup play, and they succumbed to Academica’s focused and well-organized tactics. The Lisbon club missed their best chance to equalize in the second half when Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel failed to beat goalkeeper Ricardo when through on goal.
Torino, Pescara promoted
Torino will be back in Serie A next season following an absence of three years after beating Modena 2-0 on Sunday. The result assured Torino of promotion as they cannot be caught by Hellas Verona or US Sassuolo Calcio heading into the final round of matches at the weekend. Delfino Pescara 1936 joined Torino in the top flight after a 19-year wait, following a 3-1 win at Sampdoria. They are two points behind Torino. Nnamdi Oduamadi and Giuseppe De Feudis scored a goal in each half for Torino at a sold-out Stadio Olimpico. A brace from Gianluca Caprari, either side of Ciro Immobile’s goal, handed Pescara victory in Genoa. Zdenek Zeman’s young, attacking team has scored 89 goals this season — 36 more than any other team in the division. Verona and Sassuolo were joined in the promotion playoffs by Vicenza Calcio and Sampdoria.
Salzburg complete double
Red Bull Salzburg completed the Austrian double on Sunday with an embarrassingly one-sided 3-0 win over holders SV Ried in the Austrian Cup final. Salzburg, who wrapped up the Austrian Bundesliga the previous week, needed only 15 minutes to take a 2-0 lead with a penalty converted by Brazilian forward Leonardo and a Frank Schiemer header. There was no way back for Ried after that, despite the backing of most of the fans in a disappointing 16,000 crowd at the Ernest Happel-Stadion. Stefan Hierlaender added a third in stoppage-time. Ten players were booked in a niggly, bad-tempered encounter as Salzburg won the Cup for the fifth time. Salzburg have dominated Austrian soccer since the club was taken over by the Red Bull energy drinks company in 2005, winning the league four times in the past six seasons, although it was their first Cup win in that time.
Santos Laguna claim title
Daniel Luduena and Oribe Peralta scored either side of halftime as Santos Laguna beat Monterrey 2-1 to claim the Mexican title on Sunday. Santos won the two-legged finals series 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw the previous week in Monterrey. The playoff decided the second half of Mexico’s split season, the Clausura. The first-half title — the Apertura — was won by Tigres UANL. Luduena opened the scoring in the sixth minute and Oribe Peralta extended the lead in the 65th. Aldo de Nigris pulled one back for Monterrey in the 79th minute. The title is Santos Laguna’s fourth since the club was founded in 1983 and they extracted some revenge after Monterrey defeated them 4-3 on aggregate in last month’s CONCACAF Champions League final.