This Thursday, FC Porto went to Moreira de Cónegos to qualify to the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Moreirense. With a team with seven changes in comparison to the last match for the championship, the Dragons sealed the victory with Mexican rhythm, with goals scored by Herrera and Layún, and confirmed the long awaited double classic (the semi-finals are played in two legs) against Sporting , which will decide one of the finalists in Jamor. The first leg will be played at Estádio do Dragão, on February 6, 7, or 8, while the second leg will be played on April 17, 18, or 19.
Eight minutes. That’s how long it took for the scoreboard to move at Estádio Comendador Joaquim Almeida Freitas. And the Dragons pretty much did it in the first play worthy of the name: Herrera, returning from ban, decided that he should pass to Soares, to unbalance Moreirense in the centre, and finish what he started. And he decided well, as the opposing defence was helpless as the play moved on, and Jhonatan couldn’t do anything to stop the Mexican from pushing the ball in with a touch of class, with subtle movement to the back of the goal.
There wasn’t much action before and until the second goal of the match, which remained cold unless the Dragons did something, either from the right, with Hernâni, or from the left, with Alex Telles. It was exactly from the Brazilian that the second goal for the blue and whites started, as he was the one crossing a ball that Moreirense's defence couldn’t clear in two attempts. Caught up in the chaos, Jhonatan could only watch as Layún scored with his right foot (20m).
Winning by two, the Dragons were able to manage the match, even if they didn’t keep the ball at all times, a situation that was only damaged by Edno's goal, with 20 minutes to go. After that, the blue and white intensity returned and Soares was close to the 3-1 on two occasions. First, with his left foot, trying to reach a free-kick from Layún, deflecting it over the top bar, and then with his head, to respond to a pass from Maxi: the goal was missed by a few millimetres.
Having completed the qualification to the semi-finals, all that remains to be said is that not everything were good news for the Dragons: Brahimi, one of the players that remained in the starting team from the match against Vitória de Guimarães, left the pitch with an apparent injury in the first-half (45m), being replaced by André André. The physical condition of the Algerian wingers remains unknown, and, next Monday, FC Porto is again called to defend the leadership in the championship, this time in Estoril.