Cameroonian striker returned to the goals and assured the qualification of the Dragons to the next stage
A header for goal by Aboubakar, 10 minutes in, allowed FC Porto to qualify to the quarter-finals of the Portuguese Cup, defeating Feirense at Estádio Marcolino de Castro, in Santa Maria da Feira. It was the 11th time the Dragons beat the team from the district of Aveiro in 13 official matches, and the third time the Dragons eliminated Feirense from the Portuguese Cup. FC Porto managed fatigue well in the match, as they didn’t need to increase speed to control it.
With seven changes in the starting team, in comparison to the match against Nacional – Casillas, Maxi Pereira, Marcano, Rúben Neves, Herrera, Corona and Brahimi were replaced by Helton, Maicon, José Ángel, Evandro, Sérgio Oliveira, Alberto Bueno and Tello –, the white and blues started the match pretty much with the goal. On the first time they posed danger in the opposing area, in a corner-kick hit with skill by Sérgio Oliveira, Aboubakar headed the ball in, for the 1-0, ending a personal drought of goals that started on November 8. Feirense reacted, with more soul than mind, whereas the Dragons, who ended the first-half with 69% ball possession, were trying to slow the pace of the match. The home team did end up having two good situations to score, in a free-kick well saved by Helton, 37 minutes in, and in the following corner-kick, in a header by Ícaro, that went over the bar. At halftime, the 1-0 score was a reward for the efficiency shown by the team led by Julen Lopetegui.
The second-half started similar to the first, but with FC Porto on the rise, as they came closer to the opposing goal. 60 minutes in, Alberto Bueno shot, on the left, but the ball went outside the post; one minute later, the Spanish forward came late to a cross done by Miguel Layún. 71 minutes in, Aboubakar had a great chance to score, but the shot hit the goalkeeper, and, in the following corner-kick, Bueno did the same.
Going through an intense cycle of matches, the white and blues tried to keep a low pace in the last 20 minutes of the match. Showing one last attempt at rising above the disadvantage, Feirense could have tied the match, in a good play on the left, that ended with a last second save by Helton, to a shot from Kukula (88m). Just two minutes later, though, the Dragons could have made it 2-0, but the shot done by Corona – following a pass from Layún – was saved on the touchline by a defender. The team led by Julen Lopetegui assured the qualification to the next stage and will know who the next opponent is on the 21st, at 12h00, as the draw is held at the headquarters of the Federação Portuguese de Futebol.
FC Porto 1-0 Feirense | Ivan Marcano 49′
FC Porto 1-1 Feirense | Flavio 73′