Porto sneak past Atletico
Goalless draw sees Portuguese outfit into quarter-finals
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: 11/03/09 11:18pm
Porto overcome Atletico
Porto reached the last eight of the UEFA Champions League after drawing 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Lisandro hit the post with the best chance of the game, but it was his brace in Madrid a fortnight ago that made the difference as the Portuguese giants made safe passage on the away goals rule with a 2-2 aggregate score-line.
In a game where neither side impressed, Porto edged out their Spanish opponents to make the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time since they won the competition in 2004.
For Atletico, they join neighbours Real in departing the Champions League, despite remaining undefeated in their first campaign in Europe's premier competition.
Porto were hugely impressive during the first meeting between the two sides, but they did not find it as easy to stamp their authority on this match with Atletico brimming with confidence following their recent league displays against Barcelona and Real.
Both teams threatened early on with Porto defender Bruno Alves curling a free-kick just over before Luis Perea brought a diving stop out of Helton out the other end.
With 25 minutes on the clock Atletico felt they should have been awarded a penalty when former Benfica favourite Simao Sabrosa went crashing inside the area following a challenge by Alves.
It looked a decent shout but Atletico's appeals fell on deaf ears as the referee waved play on.
The visitors, who had started with striker Diego Forlan on the bench, continued to press and Antonio Lopez brought another save out of Helton.
Arguably the best effort of the first half came in the 33rd minute when Atletico custodian Leo Franco had to dive away to his right to push away a superb swerving 25-yard volley from Fernando.
Atletico coach Abel Resino sent on Forlan early in the second half in a bid to give his side more firepower up front, but it was actually Porto who started to look the more threatening going forward.
Lisandro, who netted his side's two goals in Madrid, brought a clumsy save out of Leo Franco in the 55th minute before the Argentine goalkeeper made two good saves quarter of an hour later.
The first saw him tip over Raul Meireles' awkward curling free-kick, and from the resulting corner he produced a remarkable one-handed save to deny Cristian Rodriguez.
As the match entered its closing stages, Leo Franco needed the help of his woodwork to keep the game goalless.
The first time saw Hulk's in-swinging corner crash against the crossbar before Lisandro looked certain to score when he rounded Leo Franco only to see his shot hit the near post.
Despite those let-offs though, Atletico could not make it count at the other end as they failed to make the breakthrough that would almost certainly have sent them through instead of 2004 Champions League winners Porto.
|FC Porto||Team Statistics||Atlético de Madrid|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||1|
|6||Shots off Target||4|
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||4||4|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|1||Paris St Germain||4||10|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H