RECAP: WEEKEND PORTUGUESE ACTION
Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting dropped even farther behind the league leaders with a poor effort against Olhanense, while Caleb Patterson-Sewell was helpless to prevent Atlético's defeat.
SC Olhanense 0-0 Sporting CP
After six games in 2012 Sporting still find themselves winless in the new year.
A goalless game against ninth place Olhanense on Monday dropped the Lisbon giants into a fourth place tie with Maritimo, 13 points behind archrival Benfica who sit in the pole position.
Playing without the Dutch duo of Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Stijn Schaars, the visitors were unable to produce a cohesive and dangerous attack in the Estádio José Arcanjo.
In fact the unfancied southerners actually came closest to scoring. It was only due to the excellent performance of Rui Patricio in the Sporting net, along with some near misses by the host's Brazilian midfielder Cauê that the Lions escaped with a point.
Gooch played the full ninety yet again, this time paired with Anderson Polga rather than Alberto Rodriguez, who had started the previous two games.
Sporting's next game will be at home on 1/29 against Beira-Mar, with whom they tied 0-0 in August.
Atlético CP 0-2 CF Belenenses
After a remarkable start to the season which saw them vault to the top of the Liga Orangina standings, Patterson-Sewell and crew have stumbled through December and January.
A Luís Dias own goal in the 76th minute, which was created by Belenenses' Miguel Rosa, and a point blank strike by substitute Abel Camará in the 85th minute condemned Atlético to only their second home defeat of the season.
There was nothing Patterson-Sewell could do to keep either ball out of the net.
The hosts have just one victory in their last seven games, dropping them to fourth place, six points behind Estoril.
Patterson-Sewell is now Atlético's only Yank, as Tony Taylor has recently had his loan recalled by Estoril. The Australian-American goalkeeper will visit his former teammate on January 26 when Atlético take on the league leaders at the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota.
Tony Taylor was not present for Estoril's 1-0 win over Covilhã as he is currently stateside for Caleb Porter's U-23 camp.