Porto complete turnaround in away battle versus Vitória

Vitória SC 1-2 FC Porto

FC Porto have kept in touch with the leaders of the Primeira Liga after coming back from a goal down to defeat Vitória de Guimarães 2-1 away from home, this Saturday.

The hosts started strong with an opener from André Silva, testing Diogo Costa another handful of times in a moment of dominance against Sérgio Conceição’s men.

Porto sought answers in Francisco Conceição who, in the space of 20 minutes between the first and second period, assisted Zaidu Sanusi before grabbing the headlines for himself with the winner for the Dragons.

Huge pressure was placed on the manager’s son’s shoulders after he displaced the much-revered Mehdi Taremi in the XI, with the Porto manager opting for an almost identical set-up to the one that defeated Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League in midweek.

The game looked to tilt the visitors’ way after a quick start enabled Evanilson a shot at Vitória’s goal inside five minutes, forcing a strong save out of Bruno Varela to keep the scores locked at 0-0.

At the other end, however, a handball inside the box from João Mário had Porto staring at a potential early deficit, as André Silva stepped up to the penalty spot in the 17th minute. 

Somewhat of a penalty expert in his own right, Diogo Costa made himself big enough to stop the forward’s spot-kick, but it was via the rebound that the Vitória man would find his luck, putting the hosts a goal up. 

What followed was a flurry of chances from the likes of Jota Silva, André Silva and Miguel Maga - all denied by an inspired Diogo Costa keeping the Dragons from conceding a second goal before half-time.

In the 39th minute, Zaidu set up the perfect platform for a half-time team-talk after ghosting in at the back-post, meeting Conceição’s left-footed cross to head into the far corner successfully and equalise for Porto.

From provider to goal-getter, Conceição proved lethal cutting in on his left foot once again, this time finding the bottom-left corner with a curling effort that placed Porto in the ascendancy in the 59th minute at 2-1.

Porto’s grip on the game tightened, even without the injured Pepe, shunting a Vitória side desperate to, but ultimately incapable of firing back. The 2-1 win sees the ‘Blue & Whites’ go level on points with second-placed Benfica, meanwhile closing the gap to the top to just three points ahead of Sunday’s much anticipated Lisbon derby.

By Patrick Ribeiro

Vitória XI: Bruno Varela - Tomás Ribeiro, Toni Borevkovic, Jorge Fernandes - Ricardo Mangas, Tomás Handel, Dani Silva (Nuno Santos, 88’), Miguel Maga (Zé Castro, 83’) João Mendes (Adrián Butzke, 75’), Jota Silva, André Silva (Nélson da Luz, 88’)

FC Porto XI: Diogo Costa - Zaidu Sanusi (Galeno, 55’), David Carmo, Pepe (Fabio Cardoso, 67’), João Mário - Alan Varela, Stephen Eustáquio, Pepê, André Franco (Mehdi Taremi, 55’), Francisco Conceição (Jorge Sánchez, 81’) - Evanilson (Marko Grujic, 81’)


[1-0] André Silva, 17’ 

[1-1] Zaidu Sanusi, 39’ 

[1-2] Francisco Conceição, 59’