Another night of high European adventure for FC Artmedia Bratislava as they staged an incredible comeback from two goals down against FC Porto at the Estádio do Dragão to win 3-2 and secure their first points of the group stage.
Porto had eased into a two-goal lead in the first half through Lucho González and Diego but Peter Petráš began the fightback just before half-time. After the break Ján Kozák finished off a counterattack and Balázs Borbély converted from close range to give the Slovakian champions a famous victory against the side that won this competition two seasons ago.
Porto have been in fine domestic form and came into the game off the back of a 2-0 win against CF Os Belenenses on Saturday. Coach Co Adriaanse kept faith with that team and made no changes to his attack-minded 4-3-3 formation. In contrast, Artmedia coach Vladimir Weiss decided to be cautious, recalling Branislav Fodrek to midfield and dropping striker Juraj Halenár to the bench to make room for defensive player Ondrej Debnár.
Porto started brightly, playing crisp passing football and searching out gaps through their creative midfielders. The hosts were playing at their own pace, with the tempo being dictated by the outstanding playmaker Diego.
Indeed, the Brazilian came close with an early volley, while Artmedia goalkeeper Juraj Čobej struggled to keep out a long-range effort from Lucho González. With half an hour gone, Porto should have opened the scoring but Bosingwa ignored the unmarked Benni McCarthy and instead tried to pick out Jorginho. Čobej dived at the Brazilian's feet.
Adriaanse's side were not in any hurry though and their patience was rewarded on 32 minutes when Lucho González broke the deadlock. Jorginho had flicked the ball over his man and had a near-post shot saved. The ball broke to Ricardo Quaresma and the Portuguese international's cross was perfect for Porto's Argentinian midfielder to nod in.
The second was not long coming. Indeed, only seven minutes had elapsed when Porto launched a counterattack after Artmedia had over-committed in their search for an equaliser. Debnár backed off from Diego and the Brazilian did not need a second invitation, shooting firmly into the bottom corner at the near post.
Artmedia were not about to roll over, however. With Porto's defence not getting tight enough, Petráš cut inside the challenge of Ricardo Costa and fired low at the near post. The ball went through Bruno Alves's legs and in at Vítor Baía's near post.
Weiss decided to take the game to the home team after the break, bringing on Halenár for Peter Burák. The change paid dividends as Artmedia equalised with a text-book counterattack on 54 minutes. After a Porto corner had been cleared, the substitute sent in a fine crossfield ball to Ján Kozák on the left. He skipped around Vítor Baía and stroked the ball calmly around the backtracking Quaresma.
Porto dominated possession as the game drew to a close and kept creating chances. From a Quaresma free-kick, McCarthy beat the offside trap and was free in front of goal. A poor touch allowed Čobej to rush out and block.
Yet it was Artmedia who scored the winner with 16 minutes remaining. A rare foray into Porto territory yielded a free-kick on the left flank. Kozák jogged up take it and his whipped cross was met by Borbély, who had got in front of Ricardo Costa to side-foot into the net.