"The Incredible" in the history of the match and the stadium
Hulk didn't just enter in the history of the stadium. Hulk was the history around the match. More than just the two goals, giving him the status of best scorer ever in Estádio do Dragão, with 41 goals, the Brazilian added an assist, in between the first and third goals of the night, offering the second goal to Janko. Beira-Mar had no way to stop such inspiration.
The speed was relative and the pressure came in spaces, managed at a pace that invited the opponent to play. And Beira-Mar, partly relieved, posed more danger than the tactics would appear. Helton had, in fact, some work to do. But their motivation lasted until Hulk scored the first, when the white and blue were on top.
The creative genius of Lucho was enough to come up with a pass that forced Dias, who came in 10 minutes before, replacing Nuno Coelho, to tackle Sapunaru, when the Romanian was posed with a sweet dilemma, shooting or passing. 33 minutes in, from a penalty, Hulk not only made it 1-0, but also entered the history of the stadium, has the best scorer, a status shared with Falcao, but not for long.
After the break, Hulk, who wasn't born for minor roles, assumed his position as lead character, giving Janko the second goal with a precise pass that required no more than a minor touch to put it in. 51 minutes and all seemed settled, but the Brazilian winger had one more goal to score. Three minutes later and Maicon passed him the ball to make 41 goal at Dragão and have the team surround him, Helton included, to signal the historical moment.
The surrender of Beira-Mar was inevitable. There were no more upward runs to stop the path of the game or even a slight pressure on the Dragons. Even if the scoreboard didn't assume the fair figures, the advantage over the second place were set again after an authoritarian performance and, at times, overwhelming. Three more "finals" to go. Or even less.
FC Porto-Beira-Mar, 3-0
Portuguese League, 27th fixture
21st of April 2012
Estádio do Dragão, Porto
Referee: Bruno Esteves (Setúbal)
Assistant referees: Mário Dionísio and Valter Ferreira
Fourth official: Jorge Ferreira
FC PORTO: Helton; Sapunaru, Maicon, Otamendi and Alex Sandro; Defour, Lucho and João Moutinho; Hulk (cap.), Janko and James
Substitutions: Defour for Fernando (53m), Sapunaru for Danilo (57m) and Janko for Varela (66m)
Unused: Bracali, Kléber, Rolando and Djalma
Coach: Vítor Pereira
BEIRA-MAR: Rui Rego; Nuno Lopes, Hugo (cap.), Bura and Joãozinho; Nuno Coelho, Balboa, Jaime and Serginho; Abel Camará and Nildo
Substitutions: Nuno Coelho for Dias (12m), Serginho for Artur (59m) and Abel Camará for Edson Sitta (72m)
Unused: Paes, Pedro Moreira, Dudu and Cássio
Coach: Ulisses Morais
At half-time: 1-0
Scorers: Hulk (33m, pen., 54m) and Janko (51m)
Yellow card: Abel Camará (15m), Dias (32m), Bura (35m), Defour (41m), João Moutinho (43m), Lucho (47m) and Sapunaru (52m)