FC Porto have moved level on points with current Primeira Liga top-spot occupants Benfica and Sporting after defeating Vizela 2-0 away from home, this Sunday.
The Dragons were handed the opportunity to catch up with their rivals following Benfica’s 1-1 draw on Saturday night versus Casa Pia, providing they could beat lowly-placed Vizela on their own turf.
A first-half penalty from Mehdi Taremi paved the way for a successful night of football for the visitors, who amplified the scoring just before half-time via Stephen Eustáquio, completing a 2-0 victory away from home.
Porto came into the affair on a high following their 4-1 victory to Antwerp in midweek, calling on hat-trick hero Evanilson, alongside Jorge Sánchez and Francisco Conceição to enter the fold in Vizela.
The hosts held Sérgio Conceição’s men to a slow start before Evanilson was able to breach the Vizela backline, being met by a late Bruno Wilson challenge inside the box to earn a 20th-minute Porto penalty.
Mehdi Taremi was the man trusted to tuck away from the penalty spot, producing a high-quality conversion towards the bottom left of Fabijan Buntic’s goal to put Porto 1-0 up, despite the keeper’s best efforts.
The spot-kick opened the doors to a more open occasion as Francisco Conceição and Nuno Moreira exchanged efforts against the woodwork at either end as the game moved into the half-hour mark.
Approaching the final five minutes of the half, Evanilson was handed the chance to enhance his rich vein of form in front of goal via a Pepê flick on that left the Brazilian one-on-one with Buntic, prior to the keeper’s crucial stop.
Stopping Eustáquio proved a different challenge altogether, however, for the Croatian who saw the Canadian midfielder cut into space and fire in off the post on his left foot, doubling Porto’s lead on the brink of half time.
That advantage should’ve been halved in the 63rd minute when David Carmo was double-teamed by two Vizela forwards, giving the ball away to Samu who, in support of Samuel Essende in front of goal, went for the wrong option and blazed a shot over the crossbar.
Despite the scare, Porto were able to thwart the hosts and edge themselves level on points with first-placed Benfica, as they both now await the outcome of Sporting’s Monday night visit to the Bessa, against Boavista.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Vizela XI: Fabijan Buntic - Matheus Pereira, Bruno Wilson, Anderson, Tomás Silva - Aleksandar Busnic (Pedro Ortiz, 45’), Diogo Nascimento (Jardel, 75’), Samu (Alex Méndez, 75’) - Matías Lacava (Dylan, 81’), Nuno Moreira (Alberto Soro, 81’), Samuel Essende
FC Porto XI: Diogo Costa - Jorge Sánchez, David Carmo (Fábio Cardoso, 77’), Pepe, João Mário - Pepê, Stephen Eustáquio, Alan Varela (Nico González, 85’), Francisco Conceição (André Franco, 76’) - Mehdi Taremi (Gonçalo Borges, 85’), Evanilson (Toni Martínez, 76’)
0-1 - Mehdi Taremi (22’)
0-2 - Stephen Eustáquio (44’)