The Portuguese also dominated the early stages, but without creating any clear chances. The Ilzer team played in a 4–3–2–1 system, defended compactly and also had their first chances to score. Otar Kitishvili’s header had too little force (4′). There were a few chances in the first half, only to be hampered early on by the poor condition of the pitch at the Graz Liebenau Stadium.
In the 37th minute, Böving attempted a long shot which Sporting goalkeeper Antonio Adan was forced to make an interception. On the other hand, a harmless Paulinho header (41′) was the best chance for the 19-time Portuguese champions in the first 45 minutes. After the break, it took only a few seconds for Sporting to have two good chances: the first by Jenni Catamo with a good shot after a good dribble into the Sturm penalty area with the help of the turf (46th), followed soon after by Sturm goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen. Saved. His shot team with a brilliant work after a Trincao header in the game (47th).
Sturm survived the Portuguese pressure and was rewarded shortly afterwards. Dante launched a quick attack into his own penalty area, which Kitishvili completed with a long-range shot exactly on the post. But the rebound went straight to Bowing, who made the correct guess and calmly scored the much-discussed 1-0. It was once again thanks to Sherpan that the enthusiasm did not subside immediately.
The Dutchman (23′) blocked a shot from Paulinho (59′), before the 2.06m giant scored twice shortly afterwards. Again it was Paulinho who was frustrated by the goalkeeper’s reflexes from close range, and Goncalo Inácio’s header fell into the clutches of Scherpan immediately afterwards. The spell was broken a quarter of an hour before the end: Scherpen unfortunately deflected Gonçalves’ shot onto the knee of David Effengruber, Gyöckeres reacted a touch quicker and pushed the ball across the line.
After a while, the Portuguese celebrated again: Diomande released Prase with a hook on the edge of the penalty area, and the central defender (19) scored with a powerful shot. An effort from distance by “Joker” Tomi Horvat, which went just wide of the goal, was the best chance of Graz’s final attack (88th).