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Blue and whites beat Santa Clara 2-0 away, for matchday 23 of Liga NOS

FC Porto had a good performance against Santa Clara, at Estádio de São Miguel, in Ponta Delgada, for matchday 23 of Liga NOS. The blue and whites were solid in the middle of the Atlantic and leave the archipelago with the 19th victory in the competition, remaining in the fight for the title.  

With Manafá, Danilo and Soares in the starting team, FC Porto soon started to aim for goal, and, three minutes in, the cross from Tecatito Corona almost forced central defender João Afonso to score an own goal, but goalkeeper Marco Pereira saved it. The first 15 minutes of the match had the blue and whites dominating, and the home team only showed up 18 minutes in: Lincoln took a direct corner-kick for Marchesín to save, and, in the spare ball, Carlos Júnior, in the small area, couldn’t make it count.

After the first 30 minutes, the home team was close to scoring, in a free-kick (33m) that hit the bar, whereas on the other end Soares aimed for goal (36m) in a header. A sign of what was to come. Wilson Manafá (37m) quickly moved up, passed to Sérgio Oliveira, and, in the area, free, scored the first of the evening, his second goal for FC Porto, the first this season. Shortly before the break, Manafá was sent-off by Carlos Xistra, for a tackle on Costinha, but the referee, by indication, reviewed the play and decided to reverse the decision and show the yellow card.

The second-half started like the first, with FC Porto holding the ball. Still, Santa Clara again aimed for goal and hit the post a second time, this time in a free-kick taken by Lincoln (54m). At the start of the last 20 minutes, the team led by Sérgio Conceição had a great opportunity to increase the lead, thanks to the penalty on Otávio, but Alex Telles (71m) hit the post.

Still, the blue and whites continued to look for the second goal, which came in a free-kick taken by Sérgio Oliveira and finished in a header by Marcano (76m), his fifth goal in the championship, the sixth this season. Until the end, it was a matter of controlling the advantage and getting three more points, in a good performance for the Dragons.

The next match comes this Saturday, at Estádio do Dragão. Matchday 24 of the League is against Rio Ave, and starts at 20h30.

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