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Magic touch returns for Portillo

Published: Monday 31 October 2005, 17.01CET
Javier Portillo will go into Club Brugge KV's UEFA Champions League home game against SK Rapid Wien full of hope after scoring twice at the weekend.

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Published: Monday 31 October 2005, 17.01CET

Magic touch returns for Portillo

Javier Portillo will go into Club Brugge KV's UEFA Champions League home game against SK Rapid Wien full of hope after scoring twice at the weekend.
Club Brugge KV go into their UEFA Champions League home game against SK Rapid Wien with fresh cause for optimism after on-loan striker Javier Portillo scored his first goals at the Jan Breydelstadion.

Loan spell
Portillo, still the record marksman in Real Madrid CF's youth teams, had broken his Belgian First Division duck against R. Charleroi SC on 30 September, and he revindicated the decision to bring him on loan from the Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday with the 24th-minute opener in Club Brugge's 2-1 win against KAA Gent.

Confidence player
The game was the Spaniard's fourth league start of the season, and he made sure it would be a memorable one as he headed Club Brugge's second 16 minutes from time. Coach Jan Ceulemans hopes the goals will now begin to flow for the 23-year-old, saying: "Just like Boško Balaban, Portillo lives to score goals and today he was very important for us."

'I never doubted myself'
"These are important goals for me and the team," confirmed Portillo. "I have kept calm despite getting criticism for not scoring. I never doubted myself and with the help of the coach and players I knew my luck would change. I hope this is a real start and hope to play against Rapid on Wednesday, because playing in the UEFA Champions League is what I came to Brugge for."

Third place
The victory took Club Brugge third in the table, four points adrift of RSC Anderlecht and a further two behind leaders R. Standard de Liège. Standard were reminded of the importance of their captain as they lost 2-1 at R. Excelsior Mouscron on Sunday, with Sérgio Conceição serving a one-match suspension.

Conceiçao absence
Bereft of the Portuguese playmaker the pacesetters fell to their second seasonal defeat, leaving coach Karel Geraerts to say: "Although we won without him five times last season, today we clearly missed his control. Sérgio is the best player in Belgium and it is obvious we would rather play with him than without."

Last updated: 31/10/05 21.11CET

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