Barça 5-4 Sporting CP: Valiant effort falls short

Barça 5-4 Sporting CP: Valiant effort falls short

The blaugranes give their all, but the Portuguese side's three goal first leg advantage proves too big a hill to climb

A win for the Barça roller hockey team against Sporting CP in the WSE Champions League quarter-final return leg (5-4), but it ultimately proved insufficient to redress the Portuguese side's three goal advantage from the first leg. Edu Castro's side gave their all, backed by the best Palau Blaugrana attendance in the last decade of 5,136, and the epic comeback almost came to fruition.

Early first goal...

Barça came out looking for goals given the need for a comeback, with visiting keeper Angelo Girão being called into early action, but he couldn't do anything about a direct free hit goal for Pau Bargalló after a blue card for Ferran Font (1-0, min. 4). The miracle looked on and the Palau believed.

... but Sporting react

However, Sporting CP struck straight back through Matias Platero (1-1, min. 6) and Sergi Fernández made some tremendous stops to deny the visitors a second. The blaugranes weren't cowed though, a Pau Bargalló shot hitting the frame as Barça almost reclaimed the lead. This was a tough encounter, with many fouls in the first half, but Barça were in control and despite several chances to go ahead, the score was level at the break.

Renewed belief

The belief returned for Barça and the Palau crowd after the restart, and it took just 30 seconds for Xavi Barroso to slam a clean shot into the Portuguese side's goal (2-1, min. 26). The comeback seemed on, but despite Sergi Fernández saving a Sporting direct free hit for a tenth blaugrana foul, Rafael Bessa subsequently equalised (2-2, min. 32).

The next play saw a penalty for Barça and João Rodrigues scored to set minds dreaming of the comeback once again (3-2, min. 33). Two more goals were needed, but Angelo Girão stood tall in the visitor's goal. He had no chance with a Pau Bargalló direct free hit, though, conceded after a tenth foul from the Portuguese side (4-2, min. 41). The Palau Blaugrana roared and Edu Castro's side gave it their all to try an even up the tie, with Marc Grau hitting the post and the visiting keeper thwarting several Ignacio Alabart chances.

Fight to the final whistle

A third for Sporting dampened Barça's enthusiasm to some extent (4-3, min. 46) but there was still time for more drama, Ignacio Alabart scoring with a minute to go to put the visitors on edge (5-3, min. 49). The blaugranes and the Palau crowd pushed for the equaliser, but it wasn't to be, and Sporting scored into an unguarded goal to make the final score (5-4, min, 50).


Barça 5
Sporting CP 4

Barça: Sergi Fernández, Ignacio Alabart, Pau Bargalló, Marc Grau, João Rodrigues - starting five - Sergi Panadero, Xavi Barroso, Sergi Llorca, Eloi Cervera, Carles Grau

Sporting CP: Angelo Girão, Matias Platero, "Nolito" Romero, Ferran Font, Toni Pérez - starting five - Rafael Bessa, Alessandro Verona, João Souto, Enrique Magalhães, Zé Diogo Macedo

Goals: Pau Bargalló (1-0, min. 4), Matias Platero (1-1, min. 6), Xavi Barroso (2-1, min. 26), Rafael Bessa (2-2, min. 32), João Rodrigues (3-2, min. 33), Pau Bargalló (4-2, min. 41), Alessandro Verona (4-3, min. 46), Ignacio Alabart (5-3, min. 49), Ferran Font (5-4, min. 50)

Referees: Franco Ferrari and Claudio Ferraro. Fouls: 13-10. Blue cards for Xavi Barroso and Pau Bargalló (Barça), and for Ferran Font and João Souto (Sporting CP)

Força Barça
Força Barça

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