FC Porto strolled into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup by following up last week's 6-1 home victory against Denizlispor with a 2-2 draw in Turkey.
Unbeaten in Europe
Denizlispor overcame a first-half deficit with two quick goals - but a wondrous touch from substitute Brazilian striker Clayton with six minutes left preserved Porto's unbeaten record in Europe this season.
José Mourinho's side began from where they left off in the Antas stadium last week, dictating the pace with crisp passing and patient build-up work. Indeed, it was a surprise that it was not until the quarter-hour mark that the visitors fashioned their first chance, the impressive César Peixoto sending a dangerous centre across the face of goal which strayed agonisingly behind Brazilian striker Derlei.
Ten minutes later Derlei threatened again, driving a fierce shot wide from just outside the box. Peixoto then raced clear down the right, skipping into the area to unleash a powerful effort that goalkeeper Dirk Heinen did well to parry.
An outclassed Denizlispor were unable to hold the visitors and it was just a matter of time before the opener. Derlei, who scored in the home leg, looked like he had again in the 37th minute, launching his full weight behind a header that grazed the post. The forward, however, was not to be denied, making amends almost immediately by jinking free of his marker and blasting past Heinen to make it third time lucky.
Yet the Turkish team came out for the second half determined to make up for a hitherto poor performance. This they duly did when Ersen Martin stole the ball from veteran centre-back Jorge Costa and hooked it past Portuguese international goalkeeper Vítor Baía.
The strike provided a much-needed boost for Riza Calambay's demoralised charges and it was soon followed by another, Mustafa Özkan directing a header into the far corner after a Martin cross. The goals provided some measure of consolation but Clayton, on as a substitute for César Peixoto, deprived Denizlispor of the win, conjuring up a sublime back-heel from close range to make it all square on the night.
Porto's quest for a maiden UEFA Cup triumph will now continue with a tough quarter-final fixture against Panathinaikos FC.
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.