By Patrick Dawson
Jan 31, 2019
Sporting Clube de Macau win Taça do Presidente in blowout fashion
MACAU- It's been a long winter without domestic football, but some five months after the clubs of Macau have now entered the final phase of preseason. The 6th final between Taça do Presidente winners Sporting and Liga de Elite champions Lai Chai kicked off the Macanese season on mild winter evening. Here are a few quick observations from Sporting's 6-0 win at the Canidromo.
1. Sporting look stronger than previously thought
Kévin Gauthier's squad showed up during this match and that they mean business. After spending the last two seasons in the second division his newly built squad shown what they are made up of. Despite the fact the club is in the middle of a takeover he was able to showcase the clubs talent by bringing in several new faces. A total of 11 new players made their debuts and shown how much they are ready.
With a victory like what we had witnessed Sporting look to have the depth that is needed for a season as they are expecting. For this being the first competitive match of the 2019 season Sporting seemed to be on form and were all over the place. Wingers Luis Domingues and Gilberto Monteiro controlled the tempo all match.
For Lai Chai the defending champions of the Liga de Elite they seemed lost and not ready for the match. Before kickoff their manager Ku Seng Chong had dismissed Sporting leading up to the match saying, You can't win with just youth and Gauthier seems to be a bit unprepared."
Well if unprepared for Sporting means scoring three goals in the first 25 minutes than I rather be in Sporting's shoes.
2. Domingues' man of the match performance
It was good to finally see the 18 year old back on the pitch after a long offseason. That's where he shines. Since scoring 10 goals last season he has been linked with several clubs in China and Japan ,on Saturday, he again demonstrated his value for Sporting. In this match he would score a hatrick and get a 9.6 match rating.
Domingues over and over again found small pockets of space between the Lai Chai lines, elegantly moving closer to the wings, with Chong's XI unable to contain him. The Sporting crowd, wanting another year of football from their star player, celebrated every single pass, even the shortest, with chants.
Starting in the In the 4th minute, the winger played a couple of one-twos with Monterio and Vinicius Lemes close to the box on the left wing that left the crowd begging for more give his club a 1-0 lead. Later on in the 25th minute he would, out play the Lai Chai keeper, who stormed out of the box but mistimed his run as the winger lobbed a header over him. Finally in the 63rd minute he would score his final goal after a beautiful pass.
3. Kévin Gauthier continues to win
In his second season with the club he has won his third trophy. This is amazing on the fact all he has done since starting his management career in New Caledonia in 2015 is win. Since his start he has won nine total trophies.
"To many coaches they believe that at this level what I have accomplished is nothing, but when you win as much as I do it means something,
" said Gauthier after the match. The former AS Mont-Dore manger wanted to win his first Super Cup in his second attempt, after Sporting once suffered defeat vs. Benfica in the previous season.
To many in the footballing world it is a surprise that he has not moved up to a bigger and better job. it could be his age or many other factors but someday he will become a household name across Europe. In the previous seasons he has been linked with clubs such as Dubai CSC, Western Sydney Wanderers and FK Sarajevo, sadly despite being well liked in each interview the clubs would go for someone else.