Porto outclass Maccabi to edge closer to last 16

Published 11/05/2015, 2:04 AM EST
Porto’s Yacine Brahimi celebrates his goal against Maccabi Tel Aviv during their Champions League group G soccer match at Dragao Stadium in Porto, Portugal, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Miguel Vidal


By Ori Lewis

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HAIFA, Israel (Reuters) – Porto edged closer to a spot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-1 win over Maccabi Tel Aviv in Group G on Wednesday, which ended the Israeli side’s faint hopes of reaching the last 16.

Despite Maccabi showing some flourishes in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, the Portuguese visitors were too strong for their Israeli hosts.

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Cristian Tello, Andre Andre and Miguel Layun scored for Porto, while Eran Zahavi registered the Israeli outfit’s first goal in the competition after three previous defeats in the group.

Tello put Porto ahead in the 19th minute when Predrag Rajkovic came hesitantly off his line and was caught in no-man’s land allowing the Porto forward to slot home easily from the right.

Andre made it 2-0 in the 49th minute with a close-range header that dampened Maccabi’s hopes of getting back into the match. Despite some occasionally promising attacks, Maccabi had difficulty keeping up with their superior opponents.

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The unmarked Layoun curled in a perfect shot from the left corner of the area for Porto’s third in the 72nd minute and three minutes later, Zahavi scored from the penalty spot and gave the home fans cause to cheer.

Porto top the group with 10 points, three clear of second place Chelsea. Dynamo Kiev are third with five and Maccabi are bottom with no points.

The Israeli side could still theoretically finish in third place and qualify for the Europa League in the unlikely event that they can beat Dynamo Kiev away and Chelsea at home.

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(Writing by Ori Lewis; editing by Toby Davis)

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