Porto will be Portugal’s only representative in the Champions League Round of 16
Porto will be Portugal’s only representative in the Champions League Round of 16 after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 at Estádio do Dragão.
Galeno opened the scoring in the 9th minute before a bizarre goal saw Danylo Sikan equalise after the linesman had raised his flag for offside.
Porto will be Portugal’s only representative in the Champions League Round of 16 after beating Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 at Estádio do Dragão. Galeno opened the scoring in the 9th minute before a bizarre goal saw Danylo Sikan equalise after the linesman had raised his flag for offside. Galeno and Mehdi Taremi scored either side of the break but the Ukrainian side wouldn’t lie down, Sikan’s cross turned into the net by Stephen Eustáquio with 20 minutes remaining.Sérgio Conceição’s side eventually closed it out when Pepe converted from a corner and Francisco Conceição made it 5-2 less than a minute after coming off the bench. Eguinaldo netted a late consolation in an entertaining game of football, the Dragons registering their fourth win in Group H which sees the club go into the draw for the Round of 16.
Galeno gets it done
Porto showed no signs of playing for the draw that was required to reach the Round of 16, Evanilson’s cross creating the first chance for Mehdi Taremi who saw his header saved by Dmytro Riznyk. Shakhtar Donetsk were trying to suck the Dragons into their own third by playing the ball out from the back, a dangerous ploy with Porto pressing high up the pitch. Their tactics almost came unstuck when Riznyk gave the ball away in his own box, Yaroslav Rakitskyi doing well to recover and block Stephen Eustáquio’s shot. The Dragons persisted and took the lead in the 9th minute. Pepe’s long pass over the top found Pepê Aquino, he gave it to Evanilson who did well to get the ball into the danger zone where Galeno couldn’t miss.
Shakhtar get on top
The Ukrainian side had their first opportunity four minutes later after Taremi fouled Oleksandr Zubkov, Heorhii Sudakov’s free kick finding Danylo Sikan who headed over the bar. It was the start of a spell of pressure from Shakhtar, a great team move in the 27th minute resulting in Giorgi Gocholeishvili forcing a fine save from Diogo Costa. Their persistence paid off with the equaliser coming two minute later. A long ball picked out Oleksandr Zubkov, the winger flagged for offside which saw some of Porto’s players including Pepe stop playing. Zubkov didn’t care, delivering a cross into the box where Danylo Sikan converted, the goal eventually given which saw a minor fracas in front of Porto’s bench where Sérgio Conceição was shown a yellow card.
Porto step on the gas
The goal inspired the Dragons who piled on the pressure, Galeno volleying straight at Riznyk and Aquino missing the target. They regained the lead two minutes before the break when Aquino gave Galeno another chance, the winger seeing his shot take a deflection and beat Riznyk. Porto started the second half with intent, Eustáquio’s free kick met by Taremi who was denied by Riznyk. Taremi soon got another chance after Galeno pounced on a loose pass, the Iranian striker making no mistake from a tight angle where he smashed a left-footed effort past the busy goalkeeper. Taremi couldn’t keep another chance down before Shakhtar got a goal back in the 72nd minute. Sikan outmuscled Jorge Sánchez before bursting past Fábio Cardoso, his cross creating confusion in the six-yard box where the ball was turned into the net by Eustáquio.
Dragons close it out
Any thoughts the visitors had of an unlikely comeback were eliminated three minutes later when Porto made it 4-2. Taremi’s powerful header forced a reflex save from Riznyk, the resulting corner picking out Pepe who did enough to steer the ball past Riznyk who couldn’t prevent it from rolling over the line.
Sérgio Conceição made a triple substitution in the 81st minute when Eustáquio, Aquino and Evanilson were replaced by Marko Grujić, André Franco and Francisco Conceição. It worked a treat with Conceição junior making it 5-2 less than 60 seconds later.
A mistake from Valeriy Bondar allowed the winger to race into the box where he picked his spot, Riznyk getting a touch on the ball but not enough to keep it out of the net. Eguinaldo came off the bench to score a late equaliser after Grujić dawdled on the ball, but it was too little too late for Shakhtar who will console themselves with a spot in the Europa League.
Porto would have expected to get out of Group H and that they did, despite suffering two narrow defeats against heavyweights Barcelona. With all due respect, Antwerp and Shakhtar Donetsk are not on the same level as the Dragons who beat both clubs twice. The Portuguese club will eagerly await the Round of 16 where they will face Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund or Manchester City. Galeno racked up two goals and an assist in the 3-1 win against Shakhtar in Hamburg, he punished them once more in Portugal where the Ukrainian club failed to learn their lesson. The Brazilian speedster was on fire, unplayable down the left wing where he continues to torment opposition defences. Sérgio Conceição will rapidly turn his attention to the Primeira Liga where his side face Sporting Clube de Portugal on Monday. He will desperately want his side to tighten up at the back, the Dragons conceding seven goals in their previous three games which is a worry before the tricky test in Lisbon.
By Matthew Marshall at Estádio do Dragão
Original article can be read at Porto beat Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 to advance in the Champions League (portugoal.net)