FC Porto made history this Saturday, after beating Saint-Raphael (34-30), in the quarter-finals of the competition
FC Porto Sofarma made history this Saturday, after beating Saint-Raphael (34-30), in the second leg of the quarter-finals of the competition. The blue and whites took control of the match in the second-half and made history, becoming the first Portuguese team to qualify to this stage.
The importance of the match made both teams remain focused on the court. The scoreboard made that clear, as the first two goals advantage came only 25 minutes in, and it was for the French team.
In the first minutes, the blue and white offence had André Gomes as reference, with four of the first five goals for the Dragons. In the final minutes of the first-half, the spotlight switched to Miguel Martins, who reached his teammate at the top of the list of top scorers in the first-half.
His performance pushed the team to the lead in the final minutes, and, despite being one man down until the break (the last of three exclusions in the first 30 minutes), FC Porto went to the break with a two goals advantage.
The Dragons continued to show a good performance at the start of the second-half and reached a four goals advantage with 15 minutes to go (25-21).
About to be eliminated, Saint-Raphael tried to reduce the disadvantage, making use of the efficiency of left winger Raphael Caucheteux. Still, the blue and whites remained consistent, and, after Jeremy Toto was sent-off, for assaulting Rui Silva, they were able to, not only stay ahead, but also increase the advantage, with a seven goals lead with three minutes to go (32-25).
The final whistle made the sold-out Dragão Caixa jump in excitement. The 34-30 victory places the Dragons in the Final Four of the EHF Cup, something never done by a Portuguese team.
“I am very happy for the players. It’s unbelievable. We played well, and I am tremendously proud of my players. We can beat any team or we can lose to any team. If we work, we have a chance at winning the trophy. The setting here was fantastic. Now we have to rest and start preparing for the next match tomorrow”, coach Magnus Andersson stated after the match.
FC PORTO SOFARMA-SAINT-RAPHAEL, 34-30
EHF Cup, quarter-finals
April 27, 2019
Dragão Caixa, Porto
Referees: André Buache and Marco Meyer (Switzerland)
FC PORTO SOFARMA: Alfredo Quintana and Thomas Bauer (g.k.); Víctor Iturriza, Leandro Semedo, Yoan Balázquez, Miguel Martins (7), Djibril M´Bengue (3), Angel Hernández, Rui Silva (4), Daymaro Salina (4), Alexis Borges, Diogo Branquinho (2), António Areia (8), André Gomes (5), Miguel Alves and Fábio Magalhães (1)
Coach: Magnus Andersson
SAINT-RAPHAEL: Alexandre Demaille and Mihai Catalin Popescu (g.k.), Xavier Barachet (1), Raphael Caucheteux (10), Adrien Dipanda (3), Vadim Gayduchenko (3), Hampus Jildenbäck (2), Alexander Lynggaard (6), Jonathan Mapu, Drevy-Noah Paschal, Daniel Sarmiento (1), Alexandru Simicu (3), Jeremy Toto, Arthur Vigneron, Aleksa Kolakovic (1)
Coach: Joel da Silva
At halftime: 17-15
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