PORTO (Reuters) – Two first half goals gave Porto an easy 2-0 win over Champions League Group G outsiders Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday that put the Portuguese side in the box seat to qualify for the last 16.
Goals from striker Vincent Aboubakar in the 37th minute and Yacine Brahimi in the 41st helped Porto go two points clear at the top of the group as rivals Dynamo Kiev held Chelsea to a goalless draw.
Porto allowed Maccabi plenty of possession and space but that was never going to be enough for the Israelis, as the superior speed and skill of the home team kept them in control and they were never threatened.
Maccabi managed to create some threatening situations midway through the first 45 minutes but they are still without a point or a goal in the competition so far.
The dynamic Aboubakar, a constant threat, ran into the area to powerfully head home a perfectly-measured cross from the left by Miguel Layun that left Maccabi’s goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic helpless on his line.
Aboubakar then sent a ball through the middle of the Maccabi defence for Brahimi to slot home and effectively end the match as a contest.
Porto’s former Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas set a new record for the most clean sheets in the Champions League with his 51st shutout, moving one ahead of ex-Juventus and Manchester United keeper Edwin van der Sar.
(Writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Toby Davis)