Quaresma the hero for Porto
Ricardo Quaresma grabbed an injury-time winner as Porto defeated Besiktas in Istanbul.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 03/10/07 11:09pm
Ricardo Quaresma grabbed an injury-time winner as Porto snatched all three points from their trip to Istanbul to tackle Besiktas.
A scrappy and often fractious UEFA Champions League affair looked to be heading for a goalless draw until the Porto playmaker's crucial intervention sparked wild celebrations among Jesualdo Ferreira's players.
Both sides had passed up excellent chances to break the deadlock in their Group A meeting and it was left to Quaresma to provide the telling moment of quality at the Inonu Stadium.
Ertugrul Saglam saw his defence switch off with dire consequences in the second minute of added time as Quaresma was allowed to break into the box and collect Lucho Gonzalez's knock down before scuffing the ball under Hakan Arikan.
The greatest concern for Group A rivals Liverpool would appear to be the hostile and pulsating atmosphere, with the constant chanting from the home fans urging their side on.
Saglam's side could have taken the lead with their first chance when Matias Delgado swung over a dangerous free-kick and right-back Serdar Kurtulus headed over when he really should have at least tested Helton.
After a scrappy period of play, midfielder Rodrigo Tello was the next to try his luck but he dragged his effort from long range harmlessly wide of the post.
The ever-dangerous Quaresma fired in Porto's first shot on goal, creating himself a yard of space on the left edge of the penalty area before aiming for Arikan's near post, but the goalkeeper was alert to the danger and gathered comfortably.
And Quaresma was the instigator again moments later as he curled in a wicked cross with the outside of his left boot but Tarik Sektioui just failed to get a telling touch at the far post.
Helton made an impressive save in the 25th minute from Bobo's header following a corner from the left, but Besiktas' Brazilian striker left the field moments later on a stretcher after landing awkwardly, with Marcio Nobre coming on in his place.
Toroman then missed a glorious opportunity to give the home side the lead when he volleyed over from six yards after being found by Gokhan Zan's flick-on from a long throw into the box.
Raul Meireles whipped a first-time shot narrowly over Arikan's bar as Porto looked to ease some of the pressure they were coming under with a rare foray forward.
Meireles was then cautioned for bringing down Delgado as the half went into added time and Helton was called on to produce an impressive diving save from Edouard Cisse's driven effort from the resulting free-kick.
Quaresma provoked the ire of his team-mates six minutes into the second half when he shot over from the edge of the box with white shirts well placed at the far post. Then Meireles just failed to connect with Lucho Gonzalez's teasing ball across the six-yard box.
And Porto playmaker Quaresma then missed a sitter in the 63rd minute, side-footing wide from the edge of the six-yard box after Lisandro Lopez and Lucho Gonzalez combined to put the chance on a plate.
Besiktas came close again when Tello's dangerous free-kick caused chaos in the Porto box with Gokhan Zan flicking on against Milan Stepanov, but Cisse could only find the side-netting with the angle against him.
Substitute Adriano, brought on for Lopez, had a chance to break the deadlock moments after coming on, but he headed a teasing cross wide when well placed at the far post.
And Helton was then called on to make a crucial late save with his legs as substitute Federico Higuain broke into the box after a neat through-ball from Delgado.
Adriano then side-footed over from Meireles' ball in behind the Besiktas defence but the assistant referee was already flagging for offside.
But in added time Quaresma struck the telling late blow to finally silence the fervent home fans.
|Besiktas||Team Statistics||FC Porto|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|4||Shots on Target||3|
|8||Shots off Target||7|