National champions heroically resisted everything and beat Benfica, despite being outnumbered (2-1), winning their 17th Portuguese Cup
FC Porto won the 17th Portuguese Cup in the history of the club and reached the much desired double, by beating Benfica (2-1),at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, despite playing with ten players since minute 38. The national champions never backed down in the face of adversity and were even winning 2-0, with two goals scored by Mbemba in the second-half (47m and 59m).
FC Porto was the first to show up to the classic, for the strong start the team had, with 25 minutes at a great level. Four minutes in, Tecatito Corona received the ball from Marega, dribbled Weigl and shot with his left-foot for Vlachodimos to prevent the goal. That was, in fact, the only great opportunity of the first-half, inevitably blemished by a horrible performance by Artur Soares Dias. Shortly after failing to show Gabriel a yellow card, the referee showed the second to Luis Díaz, in a play involving André Almeida, leaving FC Porto down to ten men (38m).
Artur Soares Dias’s terrible performance, with absolutely unbelievable decisions, continued, showing Sérgio Conceição two yellow cards and sending him off (43m). Even with ten players, the national champions never allowed Benfica to pose danger in the first-half. The second-half couldn’t have started better, with Alex Telles taking a free-kick, Vlachodimos missing the ball and leaving it on Mbemba, who, with a lot of class, headed the ball into the empty goal, giving FC Porto the lead (47m). The Congolese central defender was in the right place later again and made it 2-0 for the Dragons.
Otávio took the free-kick and placed it perfectly for Mbemba to escape his marker in front of goal, heading the ball in, not giving any chances to Vlachodimos, as a true striker (59m). On the next play, Benfica had their first shot on goal, but Diogo Costa held on to Carlos Vinicius’ header with ease (62m). From then on, the national champions were mainly concerned with holding the precious 2-0, never allowing the team Lisbon to move freely. In a truly amazing display of team spirit, the blue and whites were once again a worthy representative of the city of Porto.
Carlos Vinícius was able to reduce from penalty (84m) and Jota hit the post in stoppage time (90m + 1), but the Portuguese Cup was destined to be raised by the team that deserved it the most. The team led by Sergio Conceição fought heroically and the Blue Sea can only be proud, and the fans also deserved the joy of winning a trophy that had eluded the team since 2011. A tremendous display of strength and character from what is arguably the best team in Portugal: FC Porto. The 17th Portuguese Cup was undoubtedly marked by Mbemba, but what will remain in history, apart from the result, is how the Dragons responded to all adversity. It's because of matches like this that FC Porto is a unique club.
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