Sporting swap Paciencia for Sa Pinto

Portuguese football giants Sporting Lisbon sacked coach Domingos Paciencia today and replaced him with Ricardo Sa Pinto after the club slid to their fourth successive defeat at the weekend.

Sa Pinto, 39 and who played for Sporting, has been promoted from coaching the junior side and given a contract up till the summer of 2013.

Sporting, who won the last of their 18 league titles in 2002, are fourth in the table but 16 points adrift of leaders and city rivals Benfica and have slumped since the turn of the year winning just two of their ten games.

Paciencia, 43 and like his successor a former Portuguese international, had only been at the club since last summer after guiding unfashionable Sporting Braga to the final of the UEFA Europa League.

Paciencia, though, at least leaves having taken the club to the Portuguese Cup final and to the knockout stages of the Europa League, where they play Polish side Legia Warsaw on Thursday.