Real strike late

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

be dif­fi­cult, but we kept go­ing and in the end got the goal through Karim. I am happy for him and the team as a whole.”

Ron­aldo’s name was loudly cheered amidst the oth­er­wise din of whis­tles that greeted the an­nounce­ment of the Real team, whilst a ban­ner with the mes­sage “Made in Sport­ing” was raised by the home fans with a pic­ture of a teenage Ron­aldo in their fa­mous green and white hooped shirt.

De­spite leav­ing Sport­ing for Manch­ester United at just 18 hav­ing not even won a tro­phy with the Por­tuguese giants, Ron­aldo is revered in Lis­bon hav­ing cap­tained his coun­try to a first ever in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment win at Euro 2016.

The af­fec­tion shown may even have had an ef­fect on the nor­mally ruth­less Ron­aldo as for the first time in four meet­ings against Sport­ing he failed to find the net.

Af­ter an in­tense Sport­ing start buoyed by a bois­ter­ous at­mos­phere, the hold­ers slowly grabbed a stran­gle­hold of the GERMANY game and went in front on 29 min­utes when Luka Mo­dric’s low free­kick was de­flected into Varane’s path and the French in­ter­na­tional swept home his third goal of the sea­son.

Sport­ing’s chances looked to have gone when Pereira was harshly shown red for an off-the-ball clash with Ma­teo Ko­vacic.

De­spite their nu­mer­i­cal dis­ad­van­tage, Sport­ing were level 10 min­utes from time when Silva blasted home from the penalty spot af­ter sub­sti­tute Fabio Coen­trao had been pe­nalised for hand­ball.

Joel Camp­bell even had an ef­fort saved by Costa Ri­can in­ter­na­tional team­mate Key­lor Navas as Sport­ing searched for the win­ner they needed to keep their Cham­pi­ons League hopes alive.

In­stead, they were hit with a Real sucker punch as Ben­zema fired low into the far cor­ner to set up a shootout with Dort­mund for top spot in a fort­night. – AFP

AFPPIX

Dort­mund’s Marco Reus (left) and Le­gia´s Michal Kuchar­czyk vie for the ball dur­ing their Cham­pi­ons League match yes­ter­day. –

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