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Quick-fire Porto too good for CSKA

FC Porto 2-1 PFC CSKA Moskva (agg: 3-1)
Hulk struck inside 50 seconds and Fredy Guarín scored his second of the tie as the Dragons advanced to the last eight of the UEFA Europa League.

Quick-fire Porto too good for CSKA
Quick-fire Porto too good for CSKA ©UEFA.com

A first-minute goal from Hulk set FC Porto on course for victory against PFC CSKA Moskva and a place in Friday's draw for the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

The burly striker doubled Porto's aggregate advantage inside 50 seconds with a curling free-kick which went in via the upright. Fredy Guarín − whose goal settled the first leg − punished some lax CSKA defending midway through the first half, and while Zoran Tošić swiftly offered the visitors hope, a dramatic comeback never looked like materialising.

If CSKA were still smarting over their profligacy in Russia seven days ago, their mood will hardly have improved with the sight of Hulk wheeling away after his inswinging set piece sailed in. CSKA's problem since returning from the winter break has been a dearth of goals from their strikers − just one in six matches − a statistic which came into focus again when Vágner Love nodded against the woodwork seconds later.

It was an opportunity the Army Men would regret as, on 24 minutes, they were left with a mountain to climb. Sergei Ignashevich's header back to Igor Akinfeev was wayward, causing the goalkeeper to parry. The ball was retrieved on the byline by James Rodríguez and though his cross evaded Falcao, Guarín arrived on cue to rifle in his third goal in as many games.

CSKA gave themselves hope through Tošić, who finished Alan Dzagoev's assist in a slick move from the 2005 UEFA Cup winners, and two minutes after the break Evgeni Aldonin fired an angled effort wide.

Barring that, Porto were always comfortable and could have added to their lead had Rolando, up from the back, not headed Fernando Belluschi's corner over the crossbar. Vágner Love flashed a late shot across goal but by then CSKA's game was long since up.