Sep 17, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Ljudski vrt
Maribor
1-1
Sporting Lisbon
Zahovic (92')
Tavares (22'), Ibraimi (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nani (80')
Mauricio (42')

Player Ratings: Maribor 1-1 Sporting Lisbon

Sports Mole takes a look at who excelled and who should have stayed home in Maribor's dramatic 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League.

Second-half substitute Luka Zahovic struck a last-minute equaliser as Maribor held Sporting Lisbon to a 1-1 draw in their Group G opener in the Champions League.

In a match that saw both sides repeatedly fluff their lines in front of goal, Nani's 80th-minute strike looked to have done enough for the visitors.

Nevertheless, Zahovic came off the bench on 82 minutes to capitalise on a horrendous error from Mauricio and head past Mauricio in the dying moments of the game.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at who excelled and who deserves an ear-bashing in an entertaining clash in Slovenia.



MARIBOR

Goal

Jasmin Handanovic: Would not have deserved to be on the losing side after producing a string of crucial saves to keep Sporting at bay. Could do nothing about Nani's strike. (8/10)

Defence

Petar Stojanovic: Shackled Nani well and made the winger switch to the right flank midway through the first half. Offered little going forward. (6/10)

Aleksander Rajcevic: Hit the post in the first half with a header that he should have buried past Patricio. Stood up well defensively. (7/10)

Mitja Viler: Struggled with Cedric Soares and Nani for much of the game. (5/10)

Arghus: Excellent in Maribor's defence for 75 minutes, but tired and that coincided with Sporting moving ahead on 80 minutes. (6/10)

Midfield

Dare Vrsic: Should have closed down Nani for the goal, but otherwise a decent showing. Would have had a few assists if not for his teammates' wastefulness in the final third. (6/10)

Sintayehu Sallalich: Quiet performance with few highlights. Might have done better with a couple of shots from outside the box. (5/10)

Zeljko Filipovic: Did a stellar job at shielding Maribor's defence but, like several of his teammates, faded in the last third of the game. (6/10)

Ales Mertelj: Looked off the pace and one of few Maribor players that looked out of his depth on this stage. (4/10)

Attack

Agim Ibrahimi: Far and away Maribor's best outfield player but ran out of ideas as the game grew older. One to watch against Chelsea and Schalke. (7/10)

Tavares: Industrious, but guilty of missing a host of clear chances to give his team the lead throughout the game. Needs to be far more clinical in future outings. (5/10)

Substitutes

Damjan Bohar: Had plenty of time in which to make an impact after his 58th-minute introduction, but his arrival coincided with Sporting assuming control of the game. (5/10)

Luka Zahovic: Scored the all-important equaliser and showed an intelligence beyond his years to anticipate Mauricio's error in the lead-up to the goal. Champions League debut to remember for the 18-year-old. (7/10)



SPORTING LISBON

Goal

Rui Patricio: Like Handanovic, made a series of crucial interventions but was not tested as heavily as his opposite number. Can blame Mauricio for losing his cleans sheet. (7/10)

Defence

Mauricio: Sliced a last-minute clearance into the path of Zahovic who needed no second invitation. Shocking error that cost his team three points. (4/10)

Jefferson: Contributed plenty to attack and kept Mertelj quiet on Maribor's left-hand flank throughout the 90 minutes. Solid performance. (7/10)

Cedric Soares: Produced one or two crucial blocks to deny Tavares from close range. Gave Viler a tough time down the right flank, too. (7/10)

Nabby Sarr: Unfortunate not to score in the first half after seeing his goalbound header deflected wide. Slightly suspect defensively at times. (6/10)

Midfield

William Carvalho: Showed why he has courted interest from Arsenal. Strong performance in defensive midfield, constantly stifled Maribor's attack. Needs to improve tackling, however. (7/10)

Adrien Silva: Did a good job in linking defence to attack, but so often the chances he created were wasted by his goal-shy teammates. (6/10)

Andre Martins: Industrious first-half display and statistically ran more than anyone else on the field. That industry might have come at a price, however, as Joao Mario replaced him at half time. (6/10)

Attack

Nani: Solid first-half display, and made up for a quieter second-half showing with what looked like an excellent winner on 80 minutes. (8/10)

Andre Carrillo: Spurned the game's best chance after missing a first-half one on one with Handanovic, before hitting the bar from the rebound. (6/10)

Islam Slimani: Very quiet evening for the Algeria international, who had plenty of service between Nani and Carrillo but never took advantage of it. (5/10)

Substitutes

Joao Maria: Slotted into Martins's position to good effect at half time and might have scored on another night. (7/10)

Carlos Mane: Missed two gilt-edged chances either side of Nani's opener. Among the reasons why Sporting are not top of Group G tonight. (4/10)

Fredy Montero: Came on in stoppage time, moments before Zahovic's late equaliser. Never got a touch. (5/10)


Maribor's Marcos Tavares vies for the ball with Rubin Kazan's Wakaso Mubarak during the UEFA Europa league football match NK Maribor vs FC Rubin Kazan, in Maribor, on September 19, 2013
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