Atletico beats Porto to dump it out of Champions
Atletico Madrid denied FC Porto a chance to reach the last 16 of
the Champions League with a 2-0 victory to close out Group G on
Raul Garcia turned to score a tight-angled volley in the 14th
minute before Diego Costa scored his 19th goal of the season in the
37th for unbeaten Atletico to finish top of the standings with 16
Porto hit the woodwork several times and will rue a 28th-minute
missed penalty by Josue.
Porto, a two-time European champion, finished third behind Zenit
St. Petersburg and will now play in the Europa League.
Atletico can take a measure of satisfaction from the win after
Porto dumped it into the Europa League during the 2009/10 season on
the last matchday.
Porto took the game to the hosts at the Vicente Calderon
Stadium, with Jackson Martinez the focal point of the attack while
Manchester United manager David Moyes watched on from the
Danilo’s eight-minute cross into the box found Martinez’s foot
but the Colombia striker guided it high off the crossbar.
Garcia scored against the run of play with a daring half-volley
as he touched the ball inside toward the goal line before swiveling
to fire a shot past goalkeeper Helton into the near corner with
almost no angle.
Silvestre Varela then headed off the crossbar before Martinez
was brought down by Aranzubia to set up the penalty, which was
saved by the backup goalie who was filling in for injured regular
Martinez sent Varela’s short pass off the outside of the post
just before Atletico struck for the second against the run of
Oliver Torres sprung Costa with a long pass that the Atletico
striker headed down past Helton, and he curled in from angle to
keep adding to his goalscoring tally.
The Portuguese champions hit the post for the last time in the
69th as Lima beat the offside trap but saw his quick shot come off
the near post.
Porto would have advanced to the last 16 with a victory since
Zenit lost 4-1 at previously winless Austria Vienna.