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Defender Jorge Fucile said that once FC Porto had their two early goals against PFC CSKA Moskva last night the Russian visitors had no chance of denying his side a UEFA Europa League quarter-final place.
Porto led 1-0 going into the home leg and within 50 seconds at the Estádio do Dragão, Hulk had doubled the advantage. Fredy Guarín, the scorer in Moscow a week ago, struck again midway through the first half and although Zoran Tošić reduced the arrears, Porto retained their two-goal cushion to move into the last-eight draw at 13.00CET today.
"We scored two early goals and that was very important," Fucile told UEFA.com. "
It's true we didn't play with the same intensity after going two up but I think that is normal in football. We were still pretty much in control and we knew CSKA would try to peg us back with long balls but we kept possession which is something we are really good at."
With SL Benfica and SC Braga also into the last eight, Portugal have three teams in a European quarter-final for the first time. Fucile, the Uruguay full-back, is proud of the fact. "We achieved our first objective and now we can start thinking about the next stage although we still don't know who our opponents are. It is very important to have three Portuguese teams in the last eight. We have played our part and we are very happy with our display and result. There are no favourites for the trophy as each team now has equal chances to prevail. We'll have to wait and see."
CSKA had yet to score against Porto in five attempts before the return match but breaking that hoodoo was of little consolation to Tošić. "We were disappointed to lose the first leg but we knew we still had a chance even playing away from home," the Serbia winger said. "However, we conceded two quick goals and after that it was very difficult as we had to score three goals to qualify. In the end I think Porto deserved to go through.
"Porto controlled the game but they didn't create a lot of chances, something that had happened in the first leg. After we scored we knew that if we could get another goal we would put them under great pressure but that wasn't to be.
We didn't have enough strength to mount a comeback," Tošić concluded.
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