Having helped nine-man FC Porto tame Beşiktaş JK with two second-half goals, Hulk told of his appreciation at the standing ovation he received from the Istanbul crowd.
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After scoring twice to inspire FC Porto to a 3-1 UEFA Europa League win at Beşiktaş JK, Hulk claimed that going down to ten men had been benefical to the Portuguese visitors' cause.
Porto were already one goal to the good through Falcao when Maicon was dismissed, but victory was far from a certainty in the intimidating surroundings of the BJK İnönü Stadyumu. "We came out more united after the break and played better as a team," said Hulk. The burly striker, never backward in coming forward, struck twice in the second half to ensure Porto of a third straight Group L win and a three-point cushion over their opponents at the summit, though Bobô later got a consolation goal for the home side after Fernando's dismissal reduced Porto to nine men..
"It was a fine night, both for me and for Porto," he continued. "It may have all looked very simple but a game here in Istanbul never is. We knew we would have to play in a hostile environment, with the Beşiktaş crowd notoriously loud." It was those same supporters, however, who gave Porto's No12 a standing ovation. "I really appreciated that reaction from the Turkish fans, which is why I responded by applauding them in return," Hulk added.
Porto keeper Helton had to be on his guard to keep out Beşiktaş until the second minute of added time and was all smiles at the final whistle. "Not an easy win, but most definitely an important one for the rest of the competition," he said. "It's up to us now not to let go of the lead. As far as my game is concerned I was quite happy, but I dedicate this win to my team-mates. If we lose, we all lose. If we win, we all win together."
The hosts' Fabian Ernst also looked ahead at his team's chances of progress from a pool in which they remain well placed with six points. "We really want to qualify for the next stage," he said. "We realise we can't afford any more mistakes now." Such errors were evident in the goals conceded against Porto, as noted by captain İbrahim Üzülmez. "We made crucial mistakes at the back, as we have done in the Turkish league recently," he said.