Porto wins Europa League opener

BY foxsports • September 16, 2010

FC Porto made a confident start to its Europa League campaign, downing Rapid Vienna 3-0 with an assured performance Thursday in their opening Group L game.

Defender Rolando opened the scoring in the 26th minute when he poked in a loose ball from a corner.

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao tapped in a rebound at the back post in the 66th, and midfielder Ruben Michael fired a curling shot from the edge of the area to seal it for the Portuguese club in the 79th.

Porto, the 2004 Champions League winner, was playing in Europe's second-tier competition for the first time since it won the UEFA Cup seven years ago.

Rapid has never won in Portugal but had several chances to get back into the game on the counterattack.

Porto mostly dictated the run of play and should have gone ahead in the 20th when Cristiano Rodriguez set up Rolando in front of goal, but the defender scooped the ball over the crossbar.

The visitors were cornered in defense but twice in the first half squandered chances to level the score.

Tanju Kayhan sent a low drive across the face of the goal in the 35th, Atdhe Nuhiu arriving a fraction too late to tap in the ball. Just before the interval, Rapid caught the defense napping as Nuhiu set up Stefan Kulovits for a shot from the edge of the area that scraped the post.

Porto looked set to earn a penalty in the 51st when Kayhan brought down Hulk, but the referee waved away the appeal. Argentine midfielder Fernando Belluschi hit the woodwork in the closing stages.
 


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