potent porto end beşiktaş challenge published: wednesday 12 december 2007, 0.50cet
fc porto 2-0 beşiktaş jk
lucho gonzález and ricardo quaresma found the net to leave porto top of group a – and beşiktaş bottom.
by andy brassell from estádio do dragão
a goal in either half from captain lucho gonzález and ricardo quaresma gave fc porto victory against a resilient beşiktaş jk to take the portuguese side into the uefa champions league first knockout round as the winners of group a.
point enough the 2004 winners kicked off knowing a point would be enough to guarantee progress yet they were on the front foot throughout against visitors who needed victory to maintain their own hopes of reaching the last 16. the alert gonzález opened the scoring a minute before half-time and although the turkish team pushed forward thereafter, quaresma added a second two minutes past the hour as porto won their section for the first time since 1996/97.
porto press coach jesualdo ferreira had promised porto would attack and his team were as good as his word from the kick-off with rüştü reçber punching away quaresma's dangerous free-kick in the third minute. quaresma's eighth-minute dribble then created an opportunity for gonzález but the captain took too long and the danger was snuffed out. it was 17 minutes before the visitors had their first sight of goal, ibrahim toraman rising highest to meet matías delgado's corner only to fail to get his effort on target.
home domination though beşiktaş looked composed in possession the home team continued to dominate, raul meireles narrowly failing to connect with tarik sektioui's cross as the goal beckoned. having failed to turn their dominance into a tangible advantage, frustration began to set in and porto almost fell behind as bruno alves inadvertently sliced rodrigo tello's left-wing cross narrowly over his own crossbar.
gonzález breakthrough stung, the portuguese side pushed forward again and came close to the breakthrough in the 41st minute, bosingwa bursting past two challenges and unleashing a low shot that rüştü had to turn around his near post. two minutes later the beşiktaş goalkeeper made an even better stop, diving to palm away sektioui's drive, but the reprieve was only temporary. from the resulting corner sektioui's clever touch deflected the ball out of rüştü's grasp, leaving the goalkeeper appealing in vain for an offside flag as gonzález applied a simple finish to put porto in front.
positive start beşiktaş started the second period in positive fashion as they aimed to salvage their hopes of qualifying from the group stage for the first time. straight from the restart serdar özkan collected bobo's pass only for helton to turn his attempt around the post. edouard cissé then dragged a shot wide from the resulting corner. porto nearly exploited the away team's eagerness to attack, lisandro lópez playing in sektioui but he was forced wide by rüştü and the danger passed.
no mistake defensive midfielder paulo assunção then found himself through on goal, but shot past the far post. the portuguese champions had clearly stepped up the pace as they sought to finish matters, and on 62 minutes registered the all-important second goal when another smart pass from lópez put quaresma clear, and the winger made no mistake. ertuğrul sağlam's men were a beaten side and it was porto who came closest to scoring again when the outstanding lópez fizzed a left-foot shot wide.