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Porto see off nine-man Shakhtar

Published: Tuesday 13 September 2011, 22.53CET
FC Porto 2-1 FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Hulk's early penalty miss did not prove costly as the Brazilian made amends before Kléber won the game against visitors who finished with nine men.
by David Crossan
from Estádio do Dragão

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Published: Tuesday 13 September 2011, 22.53CET

Porto see off nine-man Shakhtar

FC Porto 2-1 FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Hulk's early penalty miss did not prove costly as the Brazilian made amends before Kléber won the game against visitors who finished with nine men.

FC Porto gave Vítor Pereira a victorious start to his UEFA Champions League coaching career after they won 2-1 against an FC Shakhtar Donetsk side that finished with nine men.

In a pulsating first half, Hulk twice struck the woodwork – the second time from the penalty spot – before finding the net with a stunning 28th-minute free-kick. That effort cancelled out Luiz Adriano's opportunistic opener, and after Yaroslav Rakitskiy was sent off for the Ukrainian titleholders just before the break, Porto made full use of their extra man. Kléber tapped in early in the second period and that was enough against visitors who also lost Dmytro Chygrynskiy to a second booking late on.

It was an open game from the off and Hulk made an instant impact on his return to the Porto starting lineup, seeing a fifth-minute shot take a wicked deflection off team-mate Steven Defour and hit the crossbar. Five minutes later the hosts were awarded a penalty when Rakitskiy tangled with James Rodríguez. Hulk sent Olexandr Rybka the wrong way but was denied by the foot of the post.

Shakhtar had already looked menacing before scoring within 120 seconds of Hulk's errant spot kick. Helton appeared to have covered a shot from the lively Willian, his fellow Brazilian, only for the ball to bounce off the goalkeeper and another compatriot, Luiz Adriano, was on hand to turn it in.

A long-range free-kick from Shakhtar's Henrik Mkhitaryan seemingly gave Hulk ideas as he cracked in the powerful, swerving set piece from 35 metres that Rybka could only help into the top corner, living up to Lucescu's pre-match label of being a "world star". Five minutes before the break Rakitskiy was sent off for a foul on João Moutinho as momentum swung towards Porto.

Lucescu reacted by bringing on Olexandr Kucher at centre-half, sacrificing Eduardo and switching to a narrow 4-2-2-1 formation. The dynamics of the contest had fundamentally altered and Rodríguez twisted past Kucher down the left before providing a perfect low cross for another UEFA Champions League debutant, Kléber, to roll in.

Rodríguez, just 20, continued to catch the eye and hit the bar with a curling free-kick late on, but Porto had to withstand a bit of late pressure from Lucescu's side. Chygrynskiy's dismissal with ten minutes remaining finished any hope of a Shakhtar point, as Porto held on to make a winning start in Group G.

Last updated: 27/11/12 3.46CET

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