Bryan Ruíz’s spectacular season just keeps getting better.
The Costa Rican captain scored the first goal for his club Sporting Lisbon in the 10th minute of their Portugal Cup tournament match with Sporting Braga on Wednesday. However, Lisbon failed to keep the lead and lost 4-3 in extra time to Braga, failing to advance to the quarterfinals of the bracket made up of teams from various Portuguese leagues.
Ruíz’s latest goal, a precision snipe off a 10th minute thrown-in, gives the Tico his fifth goal with Lisbon after signing with the club in July.
It’s the second straight match in which Ruíz has scored, after his second period goal against Turkey’s Besiktas helped Lisbon qualify for the elimination rounds of the ongoing Europa League tournament.
Throughout his four-year career with English club Fulham, Ruíz struggled to establish himself as a consistent force as the team was eventually relegated from playing in the English Premier League to less competitive Football League Championship. But with a new team and new scenery in Portugal, Ruíz has flourished while lifting Sporting Lisbon to a 11-2-0 record in Primeia Liga play and a first place standing in Portugal’s top league.
On Feb. 18, Ruíz and Sporting Lisbon will continue the next round of Europa League play with the first of two matches against Germany’s Bayern Leverkusen, which is led by red-hot Mexican forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.
Lisbon plays its next Primeira Liga match on Sunday against Madeira as Ruíz’s club aims to widen its lead over second place Porto, who remains just two points behind with a 10-3-0 record.