Porto progress despite defeat
Porto booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League on away goals at the expense of Sevilla.
Last Updated: 23/02/11 8:52pm
Porto booked their place in the last 16 of the Europa League on away goals after suffering a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Sevilla.
The Portuguese club, holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Spain, looked in control at Estadio do Dragao before losing their way badly in a two-minute spell in the second period.
Luis Fabiano stepped off the bench to find the net against his former club before the hosts were reduced to 10 men when Alvaro Pereira was dismissed.
The runaway Portuguese league leaders suddenly looked in serious trouble, but Sevilla lost their man advantage five minutes later when centre-back Alexis was sent off for a second yellow card, and the visitors could find no way through in the closing stages as they exited the competition.
Sevilla considered themselves unlucky to lose the first leg after playing well but going down to an 85th-minute goal, and Gregorio Manzano's side looked fired up from the start with Frederic Kanoute sending a shot just wide in the third minute.
However, that was as good as it got for the Primera Division outfit in the first half as Porto gradually stamped their class on proceedings.
Fernando Belluschi fired a thunderous 30-yard effort just wide while Sevilla goalkeeper Javi Varas denied Alvaro and Hulk in the opening 45 minutes.
Porto also hit the woodwork prior to the break when the fit-again Falcao, this season's leading scorer in the Europa League, was unlucky to see a superb header come back off the crossbar with Varas well beaten.
It was a similar story after the break with Belluschi, Falcao, Hulk - twice - and Joao Moutinho going close before the hosts were stunned when their former player Luis Fabiano put Sevilla ahead.
The Brazil international, who had only been on the pitch for 15 minutes, latched on to a good through-ball from Alvaro Negredo, held off his marker and thumped his shot past Porto goalkeeper Helton.
That still left Sevilla needing another goal to save themselves, but their hopes received a further boost moments later when Alvaro was dismissed following a crunching challenge on Gary Medel after losing control of the ball.
Sevilla barely had time to make the most of that sending-off before they too lost a player, with Alexis picking up a second yellow for tugging back the dangerous Hulk.
The away side pushed hard in the closing stages and Kanoute headed wide while Jesus Navas' cross just failed to pick out the unmarked Diego Perotti in the middle.
However, it was Porto who looked the more likely scorers as Sevilla left gaps at the back, but Hulk, who had numerous openings, and his team-mates could not find the goal that would have prevented a first European defeat in nine matches under coach Andre Villas-Boas.
The misses did not prove costly though as Porto held on for an away-goals triumph that sets up a last-16 showdown with CSKA Moscow.