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Last-gasp Mariano goal puts Porto in position

Published: Wednesday 8 April 2009, 0.55CET
Manchester United FC 2-2 FC Porto
Mariano equalised in the 89th minute to earn Porto a draw not long after fellow substitute Carlos Tévez seemed to have won the first leg for United.
by Simon Hart
from Old Trafford
Last-gasp Mariano goal puts Porto in position
Mariano beats Edwin van der Sar in the last minute ©Getty Images

Match statistics

Man. UnitedPorto

Goals scored2
 
2
Attempts on target8
 
10
Attempts off target4
 
5
Corners4
 
8
Offsides1
 
1
Fouls committed12
 
15
Yellow cards0
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 8 April 2009, 0.55CET

Last-gasp Mariano goal puts Porto in position

Manchester United FC 2-2 FC Porto
Mariano equalised in the 89th minute to earn Porto a draw not long after fellow substitute Carlos Tévez seemed to have won the first leg for United.

On a night of high drama at Old Trafford, FC Porto fought back to earn a 2-2 at Manchester United FC thanks to an 89th-minute equaliser from substitute Mariano.

Absorbing
United looked to have snatched victory from this absorbing quarter-final first leg when their own substitute Carlos Tévez put them 2-1 in front with six minutes remaining but Mariano's even later intervention means that just as they did five years ago, Porto left Old Trafford celebrating a draw. It was richly deserved too, Porto going in front through Cristián Rodríguez's fourth-minute strike – his first in the UEFA Champions League – and continuing to trouble United even after Wayne Rooney's equaliser on the quarter-hour.

Early strike
Where Porto's 1-1 draw here took them past United in the 2003/04 first knockout round, this result – and performance – will give Jesualdo Ferreira's team real hope of ousting the champions in next Wednesday's second leg in Portugal. Porto fulfilled Ferreira's pre-game promise that his players would rise to the occasion, attacking United from the off. Lisandro gave United an early warning when he tested Edwin van der Sar with a near-post drive inside the third minute. Sixty seconds later the Dutch goalkeeper was beaten. Cristiano Ronaldo lost the ball inside his own half and though Jonny Evans intercepted Lucho's through pass, the Northern Irishman diverted the ball straight to Rodríguez, who cut inside and drove a left-footed shot across Van der Sar and into the far corner.

Rooney replies
After Ronaldo had tested Helton with a fierce header from United's first attack of note, the home side drew level when Rooney, anticipating well, latched on to Bruno Alves's careless back-pass and lifted the ball coolly over the Brazilian goalkeeper. Porto shrugged off that setback, though, and kept going forward and Rodríguez almost had a second when, from Lucho's deflected centre, he headed straight at Van der Sar from close in.

Hulk threat
United, surrendering possession repeatedly, looked a shadow of the side that kept 14 successive Premier League clean sheets earlier this season and Porto soon threatened again, Raul Meireles drawing a fingertip save from Van der Sar before Hulk curled the ball narrowly wide after John O'Shea had given it away. Hulk, the powerful Brazilian striker, embodied the visitors' positive approach. Driving at United's nervy defence whenever possible, he showed the upper body strength to hold off defenders, plus the skill to carry the ball past them.

Improvement
United improved after the restart and almost found a reward shortly before the hour. Rooney very nearly caught out Helton with a lobbed attempt from out on the right, and from the resulting corner, Helton had to palm wide a Nemanja Vidić header. Sir Alex Ferguson sent on Gary Neville for the injured Evans and it was from Neville's superb right-wing cross that Rooney could have headed United's second; instead he failed to make contact. Yet Rooney played his part when they did score again, backheeling a Neville throw into the path of Tévez who got ahead of Rolando to steer the ball beyond Helton. Porto were not finished, however, and Mariano was on hand to collect Raul Meireles's deflected cross at the far post and strike past Van der Sar.

Last updated: 08/04/09 9.53CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2009/matches/round=15278/match=302802/postmatch/report/index.html#last+gasp+mariano+goal+puts+porto+position

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

porto

Porto

1
Van der SarEdwin van der Sar (GK) (C)
1
HeltonHelton (GK)
Yellow Card90+5
3
EvraPatrice Evra
2
Bruno AlvesBruno Alves
Yellow Card76
7
RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo
8
Lucho GonzálezLucho González (C)
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
Goal15
9
LisandroLisandro
13
Park Ji-SungPark Ji-Sung
Substitution59
10
Cristian RodríguezCristian Rodríguez
Goal4
Substitution80
15
VidićNemanja Vidić
12
HulkHulk
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
14
RolandoRolando
18
ScholesPaul Scholes
Substitution72
16
Raul MeirelesRaul Meireles
Substitution79
22
O'SheaJohn O'Shea
21
SăpunaruCristian Săpunaru
23
J. EvansJonny Evans
Substitution72
25
FernandoFernando
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
28
CissokhoAly Cissokho

Substitutes

12
FosterBen Foster (GK)
33
NunoNuno (GK)
2
G. NevilleGary Neville
Substitution72
4
StepanovMilan Stepanov
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
Substitution59
11
Mariano GonzálezMariano González
Substitution80
Goal89
17
NaniNani
17
SektiouiTarik Sektioui
32
TévezCarlos Tévez
Substitution72
Goal85
19
FaríasErnesto Farías
41
MachedaFederico Macheda
20
Tomás CostaTomás Costa
Substitution79
Substitution90+4
42
EckersleyRichard Eckersley
22
Andrés MadridAndrés Madrid
Substitution90+4

Coach

Sir Alex Ferguson (SCO) Jesualdo Ferreira (POR)

Referee

Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Assistant referees

Bernhard Zauner (AUT), Armin Eder (AUT)

Fourth official

Thomas Einwaller (AUT)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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