Reebok Memories: Bolton Hold Sporting Lisbon

  • June 29, 2014 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/ab5b5

Days before the Reebok Stadium officially becomes the Macron Stadium, we take a look back at the ground's final UEFA Cup fixture.

After emerging from a two-legged tie with Atletico Madrid as 1-0 aggregate winners, Bolton played host to Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of a tie which would decide who advanced through to the quarter-finals of the competition.

Wanderers, who were without the injured duo of Jussi Jaaskelainen and Kevin Nolan, were up against a side containing stars such as Joao Moutinho, Miguel Veloso and Simon Vukcevic - but entertained on an electric night at the Reebok, earning a 1-1 draw that set the scene for the return leg in Lisbon.

With more than 25,500 supporters watching at a packed out Reebok Stadium, Bolton started the brighter of the two teams and caused havoc in the Sporting defence. Heidar Helguson was putting himself about and a mix-up between Lisbon's Anderson Polga and goalkeeper Rui Patricio left the latter with a bloodied nose.

After receiving treatment for his injury, Patricio was somewhat fortunate to escape punishment for an apparent handball outside his area and subsequent challenge on Helguson - who was in obvious pain as he hit the ground.

With 25 minutes played, the roof came off the stadium as Wanderers took the lead through the most unlikely of goalscorers. Nicky Hunt's long ball into the Sporting penalty area was flicked on by Kevin Davies. Helguson knocked the ball to Matt Taylor, whose blocked shot fell kindly for Gavin McCann to place into the bottom corner of Rui Patricio's net.

Taylor came within inches of doubling the lead six minutes before the break, while Helguson saw a header crash back off the crossbar within eight minutes of the restart.

Both sides were enjoying large spells of possession, but it was Bolton who were creating the better opportunities. Their failure to convert them into goals was a worrying sign and Sporting fired a warning shot when Leandro Romagnoli hit the crossbar shortly after the hour.

Sporting's new-found confidence going forward finally paid off at the midway stage of the second-half, as Rodrigo Tiui held off Gary Cahill and allowing Vukcevic to volley home from 25 yards.

Vukcevic came close to completing the turnaround inside the final 10 minutes, while Taylor shot wide in the dying stages for Bolton, as the two sides were made to settle for a draw.

Bolton travelled to Lisbon the following week, where a late strike from Bruno Pereirinha gave the Portuguese side a 1-0 victory on the night - 2-1 on aggregate - that set up a quarter-final tie against Glasgow Rangers.

Bolton Wanderers: Al Habsi, Hunt, A O'Brien, J O'Brien (Guthrie 67), Cahill, Taylor, Campo (Teymourian 84), Gardner, McCann, Davies, Helguson (Giannakopoulos 55)
Subs Not Used: Walker, Samuel, Meite, Vaz Te
Booked: A O'Brien, McCann
Goals: McCann 25

Sporting Lisbon: Rui Patricio, Ferreira (Romagnoli 46), Tonel, Grimi, Polga, Pereirinha, Moutinho, Veloso, Izmailov (Gladstone 85), Vukcevic, Tiui (Adrien Silva 79)
Subs Not Used: Stojkovic, Farnerud, Purovic, Silva
Booked: Grimi
Goals: Vukcevic 69

Referee: Alon Yefet (Israel)
Attendance: 25,664

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