Sunday, October 26, 2008

Leixões shocks Porto

Thirty-seven thousand at Estádio do Dragão witnessed a determined Leixões hand defending champions Porto a stinging 3-2 loss. The victory catapults Leixões to second in Liga tables.

José Mota's Leixões played with a fevered passion taking the lead only three minutes into the match with Bruno China's goal that came off a poorly played corner. Set back from the far corner he poached on a easy ball that bounced off defenders and he easily headed in past Nuno. Without fear the visitors went straight at the Dragões and Braga doubled the margin a minute shy of the half-hour mark when he slipped behind the defenders on a errant ball to his right of the goal and dispatched it into the net. Clearly the two goals were. The Dragões fought back, controlled possession of the ball and were the beneficiary of a highly questionable penalty judgement on Hulk being challenged in the area. That actually is being kind and Hulk dropped when modestly touched and I would hope he has the ability not to go ground so easily. However the call was made, deserving or not and Lucho González converted to make it 2-1. With the match standing at 2-1, Porto continued to control much of the play but were lacking in the final touch and the match went to the break with that score standing.

With the restart Porto came out with more resolve and rained down pressure on Leixões but to their credit they would not wilt in the face of adversity. Finally with half hour remaining, Tomás Costa set a long ball to Lisandro López who sped down the left channel, stopped and brought the ball back to his right before driving it into the net for a beautiful goal. With the leveling goal and it appeared the Dragões were on the verge of rescuing a victory. However heroics were in line for the notable work of Braga who gave Leixões a 3-2 lead with eleven minutes remaining when he struck a left footed rocket to the back of the Porto goal. The historic victory for Leixões, over-turns thirty-five years of disappointment in Porto and sends them to second in the table.

Porto returns to action against Naval 1º Maio next Sunday sitting fourth in the table.

F.C. PORTO: Nuno; Cristian Săpunaru(Mariano González 64'),Rolando, Bruno Alves e Lino(Candeias 32'); Raul Meireles, Tomás Costa e Lucho González «cap.»; Hulk, Lisandro López e Cristian Rodríguez(Ernesto Farías 75')

LEIXÕES SC: Beto; Vasco Fernandes, Joel, Elvis e Laranjeiro; Bruno China «cap.», Hugo Morais, Roberto Sousa e Braga (Sandro 88'); Diogo Valente ( Manel 62') e Marques (Roberto 72')