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2014/15 UEFA Champions League, Group Stage
  • Carlos ManĂ© (10')
  • Nani (35')
  • Islam Slimani (65')
  • Jefferson (42' OG)

Sporting down Maribor after delay

Sporting Lisbon ended Maribor's Champions League hopes with a 3-1 win that was delayed by 50 minutes due to floodlight failure at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
The home side led 2-1 at half-time after Carlos Mane had put them ahead and a stunner from Nani doubled the lead before a Jefferson Nascimento own goal closed the gap.
The lights went out during the interval causing a lengthy delay and when play resumed, Islam Slimani grabbed a third to seal the win.
The result leaves Sporting second in Group G, two points ahead of Schalke going into their closing fixture against group winners Chelsea.
Nani brought an early save from Jasmin Handanovic but Sporting were ahead after just 10 minutes thanks to Mane.
Jefferson showed some smart skill to dash down the left and lose his man and provided a perfect low cross to the back post where Mane was on hand to poke home.
The hosts were dominating the opening stages and Adrien Silva put a shot wide before Cedric brought another save from Handanovic.
Nani took the resulting corner and Joao Mario saw his shot blocked as Sporting laid siege to the Maribor net.
Dare Vrsic forced Rui Patricio into his first work of the night with a long-range effort but Nani saw a shot blocked away by Zeljko Filipovic as the home dominance continued.
And eventually they had their second courtesy of some special footwork from Nani 10 minutes before the break. The Manchester United loanee cut inside the box and saw a shot blocked but gathered the rebound and some clever dribbling allowed him the space to beat three men and fire high into the net.
Sporting were good value for their lead but Maribor were back into the game after 42 minutes courtesy of an unfortunate own goal from Jefferson.
Ales Mejac made a run down the left and while his cross just evaded Luka Zahovic, it hit the left-back and went into his own net to give Maribor a lifeline.
The start of the second half was delayed by around 50 minutes due to a floodlight failure with the players coming out for a second warm-up before Scottish referee Craig Thomson got things back under way.
The first half had ended more than an hour before and that looked to have taken the wind from Sporting's sails as Maribor earned a couple of early corners before Filipovic fired wide.
Despite Maribor showing large improvement from the first half it was Sporting who extended their lead after 65 minutes through Slimani.
Joao Mario raced down the right and his cross to the back post was headed across goal by a stretching Nani with Slimani supplying the finish from six yards.
Slimani then saw a shot saved moments later and Nani was next to try his luck as his effort was blocked before Joao Mario prompted another good save from Handanovic.
Andre Carrillo, Nani and Freddy Montero all had further chances to extend the lead in the closing stages but they could not find a fourth goal.