The Portuguese side have made a poor start to their domestic season but made light of those problems tonight as they proved too strong for their Swiss opponents.
Goals from Federico Insua and Ricky van Wolfswinkel inside the first 20 minutes were sufficient for the visitors to claim all three points, although Zurich might count themselves a touch unfortunate after twice hitting the woodwork.
Just four minutes were on the clock when Domingos Paciencia's men hit the front.
A foul by Alexandre Alphonse on Fabian Rinaudo created the chance from a free-kick, as Stijn Schaars' right-footed delivery was met with a thumping header by Insua into the Zurich net.
The hosts were unlucky not to pull level on 16 minutes when Ricardo Rodriguez's shot from inside the area struck a post, while two minutes later Sporting almost doubled their advantage when Diego Capel's powerful effort drew a great save from Johnny Leoni.
But it was two on 20 minutes, this time Insua the provider with a left-wing cross that was tucked into the roof of the net by Van Wolfswinkel.
Zurich came close to pulling one back on 31 minutes when Admir Mehmedi let fly with an effort which was saved by Rui Patricio.
The hosts looked a little brighter at the start of the second period, with Yassine Chikhaoui chancing his arm from distance in the 48th minute with a shot that was always rising.
Home hopes were already low but the fight seemed to go out of Zurich on 58 minutes after they were again denied by an upright, Mehmedi the unfortunate player on this occasion as the Sporting goal again held firm.
With Zurich deflated and Sporting content to sit on their lead, chances dwindled in what time remained, although in the first minute of stoppage time the hosts carved out their final opening of the night as Amine Chermiti struck a low effort towards goal but Patricio saved well with his feet.