An epic of the highest order as Porto topple Roma to make the Champions League quarter final
Porto overcame Roma deep into extra time to come out on top in a highly intense affair with Roma to snatch qualification to the quarter final of Europe’s most illustrious club competition.
Porto were facing an uphill task before the game started having lost the first leg 2-1 in Italy, but they quickly rectified the decision after Tiquinho Soares slotted home from close range after just 26 minutes.
It was Marega’s work rate for that first goal that was the most noteworthy, his tracking back into midfield to nick the ball back for his side starting the attacking move, before he then charged forward on the overlap to then get the assist for his Brazilian strike partner.
However, after a great start, Roma were quickly pegged back after right back Eder Militao’s clumsy challenge inside the box. De Rossi calmly slotted home from the spot, and the sides went in level at half time.
However, Porto, who were dominant throughout the first half, quickly pulled back in front after the break, a delightful Jesus Corona cross met by the run of Moussa Marega, who smashed home from close range. It can be recalled that both Corona and Marega were missing in the first leg, and as their presence was sorely missed in the first leg, the impact they had on the game in the second was clear for all to see.
Porto continued to dominate throughout the second half, although Roma continued to have the odd chance to nick what would have been a game-killing goal, but it remained 2-1 at full time, meaning extra time was required to separate the sides.
And the tension was clear for all to see. As is so often the case in extra time, the game was stretched and both sides had opportunities, with Roma perhaps the better side over the additional 30 minutes.
The best chance certainly fell to them, as Edin Dzeko’s dinked effort was cleared off the line spectacularly by the scampering Pepe, keeping Porto’s chances of progressing alive.
And that clearance proved crucial. Just minutes later, up at the other end, Fernando earned Porto a penalty with just three minutes left on the clock. It took VAR to come to the decision, but ultimately it went in Porto’s favour, and Alex Telles, under immense pressure, converted from the spot.
Roma could have potentially had a penalty of their own in the dying minutes, but this time VAR did not intervene with the onfield decision, and Porto qualified for the quarter finals.
They join Tottenham, Ajax and Manchester United in the final eight, with the other four spots still to be determined.