Sporting equaled, 19 years later, its record of 26 consecutive games without losing in the Portuguese First League of football, by drawing 1-1 at home with Famalicão, in the 26th round of the 2020/21 edition.
The ‘leonina’ formation scored first, by Pedro Gonçalves (25 minutes), but the visitors drew by Anderson (27), however, they did not succeed in ending the invincibility of ‘eleven’ by Rúben Amorim, who went on to add 20 victories and six draws.
The record of 26 consecutive matches without losing is equal to the record of 2001/02, a time when, under the command of Romanian László Bölöni, the ‘lions’ did not lose any game in the ninth until the 34th and last round, eventually adding up the 18th scepter.
The ‘leonina’ team ended the race with three defeats, but all took place in the first eight rounds – 0-3 in Restelo, with Belenenses, in the second, 0-1 in the reception to Alverca, in the third, and 1-2 in the redoubt Sporting Braga, in the eighth.
The record-breaking record began on October 22, 2001, with a 0-0 draw in Alvalade, against Santa Clara, and lasted until May 5, 2002, the day when the ‘lions’ celebrated the scepter with a triumph by 2 -1 at the Beira-Mar reception.
A ‘bis’ by Brazilian international striker Mario Jardel, with goals in the 29th and 88th minutes, for a total of 42 in the championship, allowed Sporting to end a triumph.
In the series of 26 games without losing, the group ‘leonino’ totaled 18 wins and eight draws, with 60 goals scored and 16 conceded.
To overcome this record, and put the unbeaten record in 27 games, Sporting needs to score on Saturday when traveling to Farense’s stronghold.
The formation of Rúben Amorim also continues in search of the maximum in two seasons, that happened between 1969/70 and 70/71, with 29 consecutive games of invincibility: in the last 16 rounds of the first season and in the first 13 of the second.
The second best record (28) started in 2001/02 and lasted until 2002/03, a championship in which Sporting did not lose in the first two rounds, yielding to the third, in a ‘thunderous’ way, with a defeat by 4-0 in Paços de Ferreira – Mauro scored three.
As for the other ‘big ones’, Benfica, in 1972/73 (two draws) and 1977/78 (nine), and FC Porto, in 2010/11 (three) and 2012/13 (six), have already finished – twice each – the championship without defeats, but always in competitions with only 30 rounds.
If Sporting maintains its unbeaten record at least until the 31st round in the current season, it will break the absolute record in just one season.
In more than one season, the ‘lions’ are, on the contrary, very far from the best records of their rivals, Benfica’s 56 undefeated matches between 1976/77 and 1978/79, and FC Porto’s 55, between 2009/10 and 2011/12.
To beat both records, Sporting needs to finish the 2020/21 edition without losing, becoming the first club to do so in 34 rounds, and then not losing in any of the first 22 rounds of the 2021 championship / 22.
Source: Futebol 365 – Notícias by www.futebol365.pt.
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