FC Porto ended the 2017/18 edition of Liga NOS with a victory, after beating Vitória de Guimarães 1-0, this Saturday afternoon, at Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. The goal scored by Marcano, on minute 69, meant the sixth consecutive victory for the national champions - the 28th in 34 matchdays -, which allows the team to reach the desired 88 points in the table, setting a new record for the club - beating the record set in 2002/03 (86) - and matching the best score ever for a team in the biggest competition in Portuguese football.
Sérgio Conceição led a small revolution in the team, with six changes in comparison to the team that faced Feirense at home (2-1): goalkeeper Vaná was a debut, and Maxi resumed his place in the starting team - reaching the one hundred matches in blue and white -, joined by Felipe, Óliver, Corona and Gonçalo Paciência.
The young Portuguese striker soon started showing that he meant business, and took the first two shots for the Dragons, and was in one of the best situations in the first-half, as he recovered a ball lost by goalkeeper Miguel Silva, but Marcano was unable to score (24m). But truth is that Vitória was the first one to aim for goal: Rafael Martins, alone in front of Vaná, shot outside the post and wasted the first of two good opportunities - the other one had Wakaso shooting, but Vaná saved it (39m).
The efficiency that the home lacked also affected FC Porto, even if the Dragons had the control of the match, with more ball possession and more shots in the first 45 minutes, which were played at a low pace, given the end of the season. Óliver, twice, could have also opened the scoreboard, but the first shot went out (26m), and the second was stopped by Miguel Silva (34m); Gonçalo tried to shoot for goal again, but the shot went over the bar (43m).
In the second-half, the blue and whites went in strong, applying more pressure and more incisive in the search for goal. Maxi gave the first sign, trying to surprise the home goalkeeper, but Miguel Silva saved it (52m); right after that, Herrera was also close to scoring (54m). As goals wouldn’t come, Sérgio Conceição switched strikers (Soares for Gonçalo, 63m), but it was a central defender opening the scoreboard, from a set piece, one of the deadliest weapons of the team this season: Alex Telles took the free-kick, and Marcano headed the ball in, for his seventh goal in the season, his fifth in the League (69m).
That was the only thing missing for the Blue Sea to explode at the Afonso Henriques, again chanting for the champions. But there was a champion in the squad waiting: Fabiano went in for the last ten minutes, becoming the 30th player with the honour of wearing the ribbon of national champion of 2017/18. Now everyone can join the party at Aliados Avenue.