Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Porto 2 Maccabi Tel-Aviv 0: Aboubakar and Brahimi seal easy win

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 20 Oct 2015

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Porto moved into first place in Champions League Group G with a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Maccabi Tel-Aviv on Tuesday.

Vincent Aboubakar and Yacine Brahimi scored in the space of four first-half minutes, before defender Bruno Martins Indi missed a glorious chance to make it three after the break, firing over from close range.

The win moves Julen Lopetegui’s men to the top of the group standings above Dynamo Kiev and Chelsea having picked up seven points from a possible nine.

Maccabi failed to record a shot on target until the 87th minute and are still waiting for their first goal after three matches in this season’s tournament.

Porto had the first decent chance when an unchallenged Aboubakar headed straight at Predrag Rajkovic from Miguel Layun’s corner.

The Cameroon international had another opportunity when he latched on to a deft chip from Maxi Pereira but could not fully connect with his shot and it bounced straight to the keeper.

The visitors were off-target with six long-range efforts in the opening half-hour, while Tal Ben Haim II was furious not to have been awarded a penalty by referee Clement Turpin.

The winger brilliantly weaved his way into the box and was felled by Martins Indi as he prepared to shoot from close range, but the official adjudged the Dutchman had got a toe to the ball.

Porto responded when Layun whipped in a cross from the left and Aboubakar’s right-footed effort on the stretch looped just past the post.

Aboubakar was a constant threat and he opened the scoring on 37 minutes. Layun’s stunning cross from the left laid it on a plate for the striker, whose diving header from six yards had too much power for Rajkovic.

Aboubakar turned creator four minutes later. He charged forward after turning well on the halfway line and slipped a pass through to Brahimi – who was just onside – allowing the midfielder to calmly slot past the keeper to give the hosts a two-goal half-time cushion.

After the break, substitute Avi Rikan picked up a pass from Dor Micha and had Iker Casillas worried with a quickfire long-range shot that he lashed just wide. 

However, Porto almost wrapped up the win when their own substitute Cristian Tello showed great pace down the left and squared towards Aboubakar, causing Tal Ben Haim to hit his own crossbar as he stretched to try to cut out the cross. 

Martins Indi then missed a sitter moments later. Ruben Neves, the 18-year-old making Champions League history as the youngest-ever captain in the competition, sent in a delivery from the right but the defender somehow shot over with the goal gaping.

Pereira fired over from a Brahimi cut -back in the closing stages, while Casillas saved comfortably from Eran Zahavi’s free-kick as Porto celebrated a straightforward victory.

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