Villaflor: Porto wins, Juve weeps

Noel Villaflor
·2 min read

FC PORTO just pulled off one of the most incredible wins this Champions League season at the expense of Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo.

And head coach Sergio Conceicao’s side played only with 10 men for more than an hour and even scored the winner in extra time.

Even with a slim 2-1 aggregate lead, the Portuguese champions traveled to Juventus Stadium in Turin on Wednesday, March 10, still as underdogs for the second leg of the Round of 16 clash with the Italian giants.

Manager Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus actually won Wednesday’s second leg, 3-2 (4-4 on aggregate after two legs), but Porto’s away goals were enough to book them a ticket to the quarterfinals.

In the match, Porto was determined to settle things right away, scoring in the 19th minute for a 1-0 lead courtesy of midfielder Sergio Oliveira’s spot kick.

The penalty nullified Juve’s away goal, so the hosts now needed to score two more goals to take the game to extra time.

Four minutes after half-time, Federico Chiesa, with a deft assist from Ronaldo, pulled one back for Juve.

Five minutes later, the ridiculous ensued: The referee handed Taremi a second yellow card for kicking the ball after blowing the whistle over a foul involving two other players, and sent him off.

Such a light infraction shouldn’t drastically affect the course of a crucial game at the highest level of competitive football, and a competent referee ought to have the wisdom and presence of mind to know this.

Down to 10 men, Porto conceded another goal from a Chiesa header on the 63rd minute for a 2-1 lead, and levelling the tally on aggregate, which stood unchanged in regulation.

The match went into extra time, and just when it seemed a penalty shootout was inevitable, Oliviera, in the 115th minute, converted a carefully struck free kick that sent the ball grazing past the fingertips of Juve keeper Wojciech Szczęsny.

A desperate Juve responded two minutes later with an Adrien Rabiot header, but that wasn’t enough as the Italians were still a goal short from advancing. Porto deserved this incredible win.