This weeks Próxima Jornada Player of the Week goes to Sporting CP attacker, Jovane Cabral.
The 22 year old Cape Verdean made just fourth start this season for Sporting and put in perhaps his best of the season so far, following on from an impressive game last week.
He was a nuisance to the Paços defence all afternoon, in the first half he operated on the right hand side of Andraž Šporar, often drifting out wide to link up with Rafael Camacho, as well as cutting inside and trying to play in Šporar and Vietto. His off the ball work was impressive also, on more than one occasion when Rafael Camacho was travelling with the ball on the right-hand side, Cabral would dart off down the flank toward the touchline, dragging Paços’ Oleg Reabciuk with him. By taking Reabciuk out of position, Camacho was able to come inside and drive into open space.
Cabral’s work on the ball was even more impressive. He attempted 4 dribbles and completed all 4, the most of any Sporting player and also had the best success rate with 100%. This direct and tenacious dribbling style also helped to draw 2 fouls.
He was close to his first assist of the campaign in the 47th minute, this time operating on the left-hand side, he burst past one defender before skipping past another and playing a ball across the face of goal which just evaded Šporar.
In the 64th minute came the moment of the match, Jovane Cabral smashed home a thunderous freekick off the underside of the bar and in before bouncing back out, Matheus Nunes made sure but it was confirmed as Cabral’s goal as it had already crossed the line. The ball travelled at such a speed that one Twitter user remarked that the strike was so fast that it looked sped-up on the replay, even when slowed down!
Cabral almost had a second goal in the 97th minute, again showing his electric pace to evade a defender, he sprinted toward goal down the left-hand side before cutting in and smashing another shot off the bar, this time unfortunately it did not bounce in.
A bright spark in what was otherwise a flat Sporting CP performance. The youngster will be hoping that chances under new manager Rúben Amorim continue to fall his way and when they do, he has to continue to repay his manager’s faith in him.
by Aaron Barton – (@AaronBartonUK)