With the qualification to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League, the lead of Liga NOS along with Sporting, and in the fight for a spot in the Final Four of the League Cup, FC Porto now confirmed they will keep fighting for the final of the Portuguese Cup, in May 22, next year. This Thursday, at Estádio do Dragão, the Dragons assured they will be in the draw for the quarter finals - scheduled for 12h00 on Monday -, after beating Vitória de Guimarães 4-0, with a goal scored by Aboubakar from penalty, another by Danilo and two by André André.
Like had already happened in the home match against Portimomense (3-2), Sérgio Conceição continued to rotate the goalkeeper in the Portuguese Cup, sending in Iker Casillas from the start. This was not, however, the only change in comparison to the most recent match, against Vitória de Setúbal (5-0), for Liga NOS, as Corona also returned to the starting team, replacing Brahimi. The coach changed, therefore, two players, but remained true to the 4-4-2 formation.
The match started alive and open, played at high rate, close to the goals, and a ball early hit the post, in a header from Danilo straight at the top bar, and then cleared on the touchline by an opposing defender (5m). The first attempt at celebration was heard at the stadium, but the actual goal didn’t take long to come, as Victor Garcia touched the ball with his hand in the area, with Aboubakar taking the penalty and scoring for the third consecutive match (12m).
Vitória responded, almost tying by Sturgeon (17m) and managed to rebalance the match, but truth is that FC Porto was always the team closer to scoring. Danilo had the second goal on his feet, but the post again denied the celebration (25m); then it was Aboubakar who, from good position, failed to make it count (43m) and the scoreboard didn’t change before the break.
The blue and whites went in for the second-half determined to reach a more comfortable advantage and to quickly settle the match. The second goal came from a set piece: a corner-kick taken by Alex Telles ended with Danilo, on the near post, pushing it in and scoring the second goal of the night (58m).
After an hour had gone by, Sérgio Conceição started to refresh the team, sending in André André to replace Ricardo, who had already been shown a yellow card. The coach's decision couldn’t have been better. The midfielder was on the pitch for three minutes when he made 3-0, picking up a spare after Aboubakar shot (64m), and, as the match was almost over, he set the final score from a corner (83m), adding another goal the impressive offensive record of the blue and whites: in the last three matches, the Dragons scored 14 goals - 64 goals have already been scored in 24 matches played so far, which makes a remarkable average of over 2.6 per match.
The Portuguese Cup returns only next year now. Next, there is a home match against Marítimo (Monday, 21h00), for matchday 15, the last of this year for Liga NOS, and the second of three consecutive matches at Estádio do Dragão, as, three days later, Rio Ave will be the opponent for the League Cup (Thursday, 21h15).