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Porto's Lucho dampens Austria debut

FK Austria Wien 0-1 FC Porto
The experience of Lucho González proved crucial in Vienna, the midfielder scoring the only goal on first Austria's group stage outing.

Austria Wien 0-1 Porto: the story in photos ©Getty Images

Lucho González scored the only goal of the game as FC Porto began their UEFA Champions League Group G campaign with victory at FK Austria Wien.

A massive banner unfurled by the home fans before kick-off at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion read 'The winners' hour comes to everyone some time'. The Austrian champions will have to wait a little longer, however, for their first moment of glory in the group stage after Lucho struck ten minutes into the second half to give Porto the points on their return to the scene of their 1986/87 European Champion Clubs' Cup triumph.

Austria coach Nenad Bjelica had made light of his side making their bow at this juncture of the competition, and there was little evidence of stage fright. They might have shrunk into their shells, however, had Fernando's steered shot beaten Heinz Lindner rather than been pushed aside by the scrambling goalkeeper in the opening minutes.

With Daniel Royer particularly menacing on the left of a 4-3-3, the hosts produced some scares for Porto too, notably when the visiting defence allowed a cross from the left to run across the box. Had Royer been able to anticipate such generosity, Nicolás Otamendi probably would not have had the opportunity to throw himself in the way of the midfielder's drive.

Last season's Austrian Bundesliga leading scorer Philipp Hosiner squeezed himself between the Porto centre-backs to send a header over while at the other end, his Portuguese Liga counterpart Jackson Martínez toe-poked wide. It was the closest the prolific Colombian got to equalling the club record of his compatriot Falcao of registering in six successive matches in all competitions.

Bjelica had also stated the difference in value between the two squads would count for little. Top-level experience is priceless though and Porto, in their 18th group stage campaign, have in their captain Lucho a man who possesses that elusive commodity. In his 58th UEFA Champions League game, the Argentinian international was instinctively in the right place to turn in Danilo's cross having initially drifted a perfect pass into the overlapping full-back's path.

Despite the blow, Austria quickly recovered their senses. Marko Stankovic's header thudded against a post before Hosiner's pace took him clear, but as Eliaquim Mangala closed, the Austria striker could find neither the power nor direction to trouble Helton with his shot. Bjelica will be hoping for a more clinical edge against FC Zenit on matchday two, when Porto entertain Club Atlético de Madrid.

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