Coach Julen Lopetegui paid tribute to the “great personality” shown by Porto as they edged closer to the Champions League knockout stages with a classy 3-1 win at Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Cristian Tello poked home the opener in the Group G encounter at the Sammy Ofer Stadium, before Andre Andre’s header and Miguel Layun’s curling effort put the game beyond doubt in the second half, the only blot coming from Eran Zahavi’s penalty.
Porto also wasted several opportunities with Vincent Aboubakar and Evandro particularly guilty, but the win means they can secure a place in the round of 16 with a point in their next clash against Dynamo Kiev.
“In theory we were obligated to win, but we played a brave team who were playing well and I fear good players,” Lopetegui said.
“These game can be very complicated, but the team showed great personality and gave a magnificent response to the difficulties they encountered.
“We were deserved winners of the three points and we could have had more goals, but in general we had a very good game.
“We need one point and it won’t be easy because we still face great teams and every match is hard.”
A draw may be good enough against Kiev, but midfielder Andre is keen for Porto to maintain their status as group leaders and insists the team will not play for a point at Estadio do Dragao
“We knew it was going to be a difficult match. Their defeat here against Dynamo Kiev did not tell the truth about what happened in that game,” he said.
“We wanted to wrap thing up in the first half, and we managed to score one goal. Then we started the second half very strongly, we made it 2-0 and that goal gave us serenity.
“We want to stay top of the group until the end. Against Dynamo we will not play for a draw, we want to get all three points.”