Porto top Group G after Maccabi success

Porto 2-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv The Dragons powered to the top of Group G thanks to goals from Vincent Aboubakar and Yacine Brahimi which leave Maccabi on the brink.

Watch the goals by Vincent Aboubakar and Yacine Brahimi that gave the hosts three points.
  • Undefeated Porto top Group G after second consecutive home win
  • Vincent Aboubakar and Yacine Brahimi make difference with first-half goals
  • Maccabi bottom of section without a point after third defeat
  • Rúben Neves becomes youngest UEFA Champions League captain at 18 years 221 days
  • Iker Casillas keeps competition record 51st clean sheet
  • The teams play again at Sammy Ofer Stadium on 4 November

Porto overpowered Maccabi Tel-Aviv in Portugal to impressively install themselves at the head of Group G and leave the visitors' qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

Led out by the youngest captain in UEFA Champions League history in Rúben Neves – at 18 years 221 days – the hosts went ahead through a thumping Vincent Aboubakar header. Yacine Brahimi doubled the advantage four minutes before the interval and that proved more than enough to make it 12 European home games undefeated for the hosts.

With Maccabi coming into the game without a point and Porto so dominant at home – on a 19-match winning run in all competitions – it was something of a surprise to see the visitors take the game to the hosts. Driven on by the strong running Tal Ben Chaim, the Israeli champions went close as Eran Zahavi and Dor Peretz both shot off target from the edge of the area.

Porto were not at their best but chances still came their way, mainly in the shape of Aboubakar. The Cameroonian headed an early effort straight at keeper Predrag Rajković before failing to connect cleanly with a volleyed effort then directing an inswinging cross a fraction wide.

©AFP/Getty Images

Brahimi, as ever, was electric on the left and he teased the defence before laying off for Miguel Layún to swing into the area. Aboubakar met the cross to crash a header past Rajković at the back post in the 37th minute. The lead was doubled shortly after as the opening scorer rampaged down the centre, drew defenders and slipped a pass to his left where Brahimi ran clear and calmly slotted under the goalkeeper.

Tal Ben Haim turned a cross against his own post after the restart and Bruno Martins Indi somehow directed a cross over the bar from inside five metres as Porto looked to wrap things up. However, two goals proved plenty as Porto gained yet another three points on home turf to close on the knockout phase.

Reaction:
Julen Lopetegui, Porto coach
Mission accomplished of course. We won against a strong team, three very difficult points against a brave team that have no pressure, we were ready for their quality though. We played a good game, we were fair winners in a tough match like they all are in the Champions League. We are halfway through the group, there are three other games and nothing is decided.

Slaviša Jokanović, Maccabi coach
We cannot be happy about not winning the game, but we showed some progress. It's still not enough for this level. We didn't let them create many chances at some moments of the game. Generally my team stick to the plan and did what we wanted on the pitch, and I expect us to keep improving. We have to be satisfied with our progress. I want to get nine points out of the next three matches.

©UEFA.com
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