Shakhtar Donetsk vs FC Porto Match Preview
FC Porto play in Ukraine tonight fighting for Champions League survival.
A victory against Shakhtar Donetsk is an absolute must if the Portuguese champions are to keep their hopes alive of remaining in Europe’s foremost club competition beyond Christmas.
Should Porto lose, it is unlikely they will even get the opportunity to defend their Europa League trophy, as a rock-bottom finish in Group G will be an almost certainty.
Pereira insists his team will get it right when it matters and will not repeat the insipid display that saw them crash out of the Portuguese Cup on Saturday night at Académica de Coimbra.
“We know we can’t repeat the game we played at the weekend. But this is a different competition and you can be absolutely certain you will see a different Porto. We are motivated and prepared to fight to bring back the three points,” said the coach.
Porto can by buoyed by looking to the history books. In three visits to the country the Dragons have won twice and drawn once. Also, despite their disappointing performances in the Champions League so far, Shakhtar have been even worse.
The Ukrainians prop up the section with just two points and are yet to win a game. Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu admits that after making such a big impact last season, the results have been a big let-down. “Shakhtar and Porto were seen as favorites in the group, but it has proved to be a more difficult tournament than anyone could have imagined,” he said.
Uruguayan duo Jorge Fucile and Christian Rodriguez have been recalled into the Porto squad, but Fredy Guarin is out of action after getting injured in international action last week.
Kick-off at 9.45pm local time at the Donbass Arena, Donetsk.
Shakhtar Donetsk vs FC Porto Match Report
Two late goals without reply gave FC Porto a crucial victory against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Portuguese champions are now firmly back in contention for a place in the knockout phase of the competition.
Victory in their final group game at home to Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg will guarantee at least second place in the section.
In a tense night in Ukraine, Porto enjoyed a slice of luck as Luiz Adriano in the first half and Fernandinho in the second rattled the woodwork with long-range shots.
The Dragons weathered the storm and struck with ten minutes remaining.
João Moutinho played a delightful throughball to Hulk, who found the back of the net with a right-foot finish.
A superb piece of Hulk skill was at the origin of the second goal. The Brazilian tricked two markers and crossed for Maicon on the edge of the box, whose shot was turned into his own net by Rat.