Champions League: Porto advance vs. Bilbao; Sporting stun Schalke
Athletic Bilbao 0, Porto 2
BILBAO, Spain — FC Porto forward Yacine Brahimi scored one goal after setting up the opener in a 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday that qualified the Portuguese side for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Brahimi’s exquisite solo effort set up Jackson Martinez to score in the 56th minute and make amends for the striker’s missed penalty kick during a first-half that Porto was unfortunate to finish without a goal.
Bilbao striker Guillermo Fernandez had one of the hosts’ few scoring chances with an awkward header that hit the post in the 70th.
But three minutes later a gaffe by goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz gifted Brahimi his goal.
Porto rose to 10 points in Group H, while Bilbao was left in last place with one point and without hope for advancing.
Porto remained unbeaten in 15 games between the Champions League and the Portuguese league under new Basque coach Julen Lopetegui.
”It was a difficult match,” said Fernandez, who played in place of injured first-choice striker Aritz Aduriz.
”They pushed us back into our area in the first half, and even though we got forward more in the second we still weren’t able to do much.”
Sporting 4, Schalke 2
LISBON, Portugal — Sporting Lisbon beat Schalke 4-2 in the Champions League on Wednesday to keep alive its hopes of advancing to the competition’s knockout round.
Sporting’s first win of the tournament this season lifted it to four points in Group G, with German side Schalke on five. With two games to play, Chelsea leads the group with eight points and Maribor has three.
Islam Slimani’s 17th-minute own goal from a deflection handed Schalke the lead, but Sporting equalized just under 10 minutes later through Naby Sarr’s glancing header.
Jefferson put Sporting in front with a low drive into the far corner in the 52nd, and Nani made it 3-1 when he connected with Andre Carrilho’s cross in the 72nd.
Dennis Aogo pulled one back two minutes from the end before Slimani sealed it on the break in added time as Schalke pushed forward.
The opening goals injected life into a humdrum game, with Joao Mario piercing the Schalke defense with a solo run but there was nobody there when he pulled the ball back.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar set up Max Meyer who shot over the bar before Nani and Mario tested Ralf Fahrmann in quick succession and Carlos Mane, unmarked at the back post, botched his header from a Nani cross.
Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved at the feet of substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng in the 66th as Roberto Di Matteo’s team fought back but Sporting, in the Champions League for the first time in five years, kept its composure.
Shakhtar Donestsk 5, BATE 0
LVIV, Ukraine — Luiz Adriano, the top scorer in the Champions League this season, struck another hat trick as Shakhtar Donetsk cruised to a 5-0 victory over 10-man BATE Borisov on Wednesday.
The Brazilian striker’s second-half triple took him to nine Champions League goals this season, five of which he scored in a 7-0 rout of BATE last month.
Shakhtar is second in Group H behind already-qualified Porto and requires just one point from its next two games to secure passage to the last 16.
Playing in Lviv, 640 miles (1,030 kilometers) from Donetsk, due to the Ukrainian conflict, Shakhtar took the lead on 19 minutes. Captain Darijo Srna fired in after Luiz Adriano touched on a cross from Vyacheslav Shevchuk.
BATE right-back Anri Khagush was sent off after the halftime whistle had gone, earning a second yellow card in less than a minute for arguing with the referee.
Luiz Adriano, who had complained of racial abuse when playing away to BATE last month, scored or assisted all of Shakhtar’s five goals, passing to Alex Teixeira for his 48th-minute strike.
The first of Luiz Adriano’s goals came on 58 minutes when the Brazilian scored from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by 19-year-old BATE defender Evgeny Yablonsky.
He struck again off a Douglas Costa cross on 83 minutes before completing his hat trick deep into stoppage time off a pass from Shakhtar’s Ivan Ordets, playing his first Champions League game.