Celtic win on penalties 6-5! It's been a great match here with two sides with two very different brands of football going at one another. Celtic will get their first trophy of the season, while Sporting walk away clapping to their loyal supporters. Second half goals from Samaras and Postiga canceled each other out, so penalties had to decide a winner.
It remains 5-5 as Liedson, the man wearing the captain armband, skies his effort!
5-5 Samaras scores his second penalty of the night with a cool effort to the right. 10 penalties taken, 10 made. So we'll continue.
5-4 Sinama-Pongolle hits a beauty. Right into the top left corner. Tapping the bottom of the crossbar on the way in. It's all up to Samaras.
4-4 Celtic equalize as Forrest places well to the left.
4-3 Sporting with an effort right into the roof of the net.
3-3 Ki Sung Yueng's effort is struck with venom to the left. That had power.
3-2 Sporting as Polga goes to the left.
2-2 Mulgrew goes to the left as well. Well placed.
2-1 as Maniche goes side-netting to the left. Sporting up 2-1 now.
1-1.. Celtic equalize.
1-0 Sporting. Postiga puts away his spot kick with ease.
We're headed to penalties! No extra time. Just a penalty shoot-out. The crowd should enjoy this...
90+º James Forest tried to be a hero with an off-balance left-footed effort that went very high.
90º Ki Sung-Hueng earns a yellow card for a cynical tackle. He's clearly frustrated. Pitch invader just got taken out. Wish I had filmed that. Great tackle. The Patriots should sign him up.
88º Postiga almost gets his second with a strike from just outside the area. Good save though. Dangerous corner from Sporting results with a goal kick to Celtic.
86º Nearly! Liedson tried to place his header to the far post, but his effort just went wide. Postiga played in a perfectly weighted lofted pass.
84º Celtic win a freekick from 35 yards out. It looks like Ki Sung Yueng will take. And he does! But his curling effort to the far post is easily collected.
81º Goal Sporting! 1-1! Postiga nods in the equalizer after Salomão's great header goes off the post. Game on.
77º Since scoring, Samaras has all the confidence in the world. Celtic looking fairly comfortable with their lead as Samaras wins yet another freekick for his side. Meanwhile, Loovens is walking to the locker room with his shirt off and is getting whistled at. The Red Sox don't do that do they?
72º Celtic 1-0! Samaras tucked away his penalty into the right corner of the net. He then pointed to all the fans, acknowledging their support.
71º Penalty to Celtic. Samaras did well to cut inside and win it. He's set to take it...
Here's a quick video I took of "Sweet Caroline" being sung at halftime:
67º Neil Lennon, Celtic manager, clearly cares about this game more than his Portuguese counter parts. He wants to make the vast amount of Celtic supporters here proud.
63º André Santos has an effort from range, but his shot was always rising.
61º The wave is shuffling around Fenway here. This game needs a goal.
58º Celtic piling on the pressure now. Sporting's subs have not impressed like the men who started this game. Another Celtic corner results with open play.
56º Ki Sung Yueng with a nice little attempt of a bicycle kick. It was actually a defensive clearance. Celtic Sub: Rogne is on for Loovens.
50º Scott Brown is booked for a late tackle on Andre Santos. The Sporting players did not like that, and a little scuffle breaks out on the pitch. To be fair, Brown had every right to go for that ball.
48º Samaras nearly puts Celtic 1-nil up with a glancing header. But the Sporting keeper, once again, pushes it out for a corner. It looks like Sporting has actually switched up their entire line-up. Celtic has not changed much as far as I am aware of. Will try to clarify this as soon as possible.
47º Liedson, the Portuguese international, has been subbed on and immediately has an audacious attempt from 30 yards out. Nothing doing.
The Second Half has just begun. 45 minutes to go. Who will take the initiative to go and get a winner?
Halftime: Celtic 0-0 Sporting Lisbon. Well it took a while for the game to really get settled, but the last 10 minutes had two great chances to score. Hopefully both teams will build off that and go for it in the second half. Sporting Lisbon have been the been side in my opinion, but Celtic have made the most out of the few opportunities that they have had. In a
41º Great save from Patricio leads to a great Sporting counter! Matias Fernandez split the Celtic defense with an perfectly weighted pass. Saleiro collected, rounded Celtic keeper Zaluska, but just couldn't put his tame effort on target.
38º Samaras comes close with a first time effort on the near post after McCourt played him in wonderfully curled pass with the outside of his foot. Samaras hit it on a volley, with his shot just going wide right.
34º Early Celtic sub: Marc Fortune off for Paul McGowan. Fortune was shown a yellow card as he exited, not sure what for. Might have been dissent. Neil Lennon, Celtic manager, rubs his face as Fortuné heads to the locker room.
31º Scott Brown, Celtic's best player of the match thus far, fights for every inch to beat a Portuguese defender and then finds himself having a decent half-volley effort on goal from an acute angle.
29º Saleiro, Sporting's #9, goes down far too easily. There was a tad bit of contact to be fair, but he's rightfully booed by Celtic supporters and neutrals.
26º Fortuné goes on a scintillating run down the left flank, forcing a good save from Sporting keeper Rui Patricio. First decent effort of the match to be honest.
24º Sporting win a corner. Valdés whips it in to the far post, and Celtic nod it out for another one. That one results in a Celtic goalkick.
20º The Portuguese are undeniably controlling the run of play here. No final product though as the Celtic defenders are communicating very well.
18º Loovens with a crunching tackle on Fernandez. That one got the crowd riled up. Celtic definitely the more physical side here tonight.
16º Miguel Veloso with a speculative shot for Sporting from 30 yards out. Goes sailing high and wide.
13º Ki Sung Yueng does well to hold off two onrushing Sporting attackers. The South Korean international then passed it, and Celtic won a corner from the ensuing passing movement.
11º Sporting really passing the ball around well, and Matias Fernandez' class is already being displayed. He looks incredibly calm no matter the pressure on him. Sort of like Xavi.
8º Sporting having the better of possession so far. A bit of skill is shown from Abel down the right flank, but it is immediately matched by Scott Brown with a bit of flair of his own. Brown wasted possession with a poor throughball.
5º In the first five minutes both teams are getting settled in. Sporting win the first corner of the match thanks to great work from Chilean international Matias Fernandez.
Sporting Starting XI: Patricio, Torsiglieri, Grimi, Tonel, Mendes (c), Abel, Vukcevic, Fernandez, Valdés, Veloso, Saleiro
Celtic Starting XI (4-4-2): Zaluska, Wilson, Mulgrew, Odea, Loovens, Brown (c), Sung Yueng, McCourt, Forrest, Samaras, Fortune.
And we're off! "Shipping Up to Boston" is blaring from the sound system. That's unique.
Pregame: The Boston Pops are performing the national anthem.
It's a predominantly pro-Celtic crowd here tonight. Sporting are actually being booed as they walk on to the field. That's unnecessarily disrespectful.
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