Porto ahead as Herrera downs LOSC

LOSC Lille 0-1 FC Porto
Hector Herrera scored just past the hour in northern France to put Porto in sight of a 19th group-stage campaign.

Hector Herrera celebrates his winner
Hector Herrera celebrates his winner ©AFP/Getty Images

• Advantage FC Porto ahead of next Tuesday's second leg
• Hector Herrera scores the only goal on 61 minutes
• The best LOSC Lille chances fall to Sébastien Corchia
• Cristian Tello makes an almost instant impact as substitute
• Ricardo Quaresma is surprisingly left on the bench at kick-off

Herrera gave Porto the edge as he scored the only goal in France to defeat LOSC in their UEFA Champions League play-off first leg.

With the Portuguese side often frustrated by their stoic Ligue 1 hosts, it appeared Porto's ambitions of a 19th group stage campaign would depend largely on their efforts on home soil next Tuesday. However, Herrera side-footed in from close range just after the hour to not only secure a first UEFA Champions League away win in six attempts for his club, but also give Julen Lopetegui's men the ideal platform on which to perform next week.

Though they had had just a single competitive fixture to their opponents' four this season, Porto looked markedly less ring-rusty than LOSC. Rúben Neves had an angled drive tipped round by Vincent Enyeama while the Nigeria keeper's pulse must have been racing when the Porto man tantalisingly arced a free-kick across his goal.

LOSC, however, bear the hallmarks of the rugged midfielder their coach, René Girard, was in his playing days, and with their defence unrelenting, their forwards eventually came into the game. Corchia twice might have put the French team ahead. His finishing, particularly on his second opportunity when he blasted over from close range in the final minute before the break, was indicative of him playing in an unfamiliar advanced role.

Just as Lille appeared to be getting to grips with their guests, Porto wriggled out of their grasp. On the pitch for barely 60 seconds, substitute Tello picked out Jackson Martínez with a cross – though the Colombian international's header was brilliantly parried by Enyeama, Herrera swept in the rebound. LOSC might have capitalised when Fabiano dropped a Corchia free-kick, but Maicon hacked clear to preserve his side's precious, hard-won advantage.