Porto's set-piece prowess proves too much for Basel

Yacine Brahimi and Casemiro's free-kicks helped FC Porto ease past FC Basel 1893, Vincent Aboubakar telling UEFA.com: "They work hard on them in training."

Yacine Brahimi celebrates putting Porto in front
Yacine Brahimi celebrates putting Porto in front ©AFP/Getty Images

Yacine Brahimi has made a habit of scoring stunning free-kicks in this season's UEFA Champions League and one that was special even by the Algerian international's lofty standards set FC Porto on the way to the quarter-finals at the expense of FC Basel 1893.

In the 14th minute the home No8 stepped up to guide a free-kick from just to the right of centre over the visiting wall and into the net, leaving goalkeeper Tomáš Vaclík stranded. Brahimi, in his first season at Porto, had also scored set-piece goals against LOSC Lille in the play-offs and FC BATE Borisov in the group stage.

Asked to rank them in order, Brahimi said: "All of the free-kicks I scored in this competition were important but I scored this one in the round of 16. The closer you get to the end of a competition the more important the goals are. At the end of the day all goals count the same and what matters is that we've got through, something which makes me very happy."

Casemiro also produced an outstanding free-kick for Porto as Julen Lopetegui's side reached the last eight for the first time since 2009. If anything the Brazilian, on loan from Real Madrid CF, outdid Brahimi in the set-piece stakes with a scorcher from fully 30m. Their team-mate Vincent Aboubakar, who scored the fourth and final goal, says there is no secret to the duo's success.

"Yacine had gone through a more difficult time of late and the fact he scored will do him good," said the Cameroonian international forward. "He's on the right road. Both him and Casemiro work hard on their free-kicks in training and the fact they've managed to reproduce that in a match situation makes me very happy for them."

The pacey and powerful Aboubakar, signed from FC Lorient last summer, helped Porto make light of the absence of injured talisman Jackson Martínez and the 23-year-old forward now has an impressive three UEFA Champions League goals from just 271 minutes of action.

Vincent Aboubakar after scoring Porto's fourth goal
Vincent Aboubakar after scoring Porto's fourth goal©AFP/Getty Images

His great friend Brahimi said: "We missed Jackson Martínez, who is very important to our team, but Aboubakar did the business as he scored and showed his quality."

Porto are now one of only two clubs still unbeaten in this season's competition, along with Chelsea FC, although neither Brahimi nor Aboubakar are getting carried away with thoughts of the club repeating the exploits of 2004 when Porto lifted the trophy.

Brahimi said: "We'll do our best to go as far as possible so that we won't have any regrets. Each match to come will be more and more difficult in the competition."

Aboubakar, like his fellow former Ligue 1 star, is eagerly awaiting the draw on 20 March and added: "We'll see what the future holds for us. We're not going to get carried away. We're going to stay humble and that's very important going forward."

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