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Dragons beat Marítimo in Funchal, 2-1, for matchday 20 of the championship

FC Porto started the match at Estádio dos Barreiros under pressure, following the victories of Sporting and SC Braga, but showing determination in fighting for the renewal of the title. The blue and whites beat, close to the end, Marítimo, 2-1, in the closing match of matchday 20 of the Portuguese League, and remain steady in the fight for the first place.  

On the return to the championship, after the European victory over Juventus, Luis Díaz was the only new face in the team sent in by Sérgio Conceição, in a match that had Marítimo, desperate for points, going for the first attack. Only three minutes in, from a throw-in by Pedro Pelágio, Joel Tagueu was able to get a header, but without creating real danger. The Dragons responded in the best possible way to the pressure: before the quarter hour mark, a free-kick from Sérgio Oliveira was cleared by the home defence, but ended in Tecatito Corona, with some confusion in the area ensuing and Uribe making the best of it for the 1-0 (14m).

The national champions seemed to be in control of the match, but the home team quickly tied the match. In a corner-kick taken by Edgar Costa, Tagueu missed the shot, but found Léo Andrade and the Brazilian scored an easy goal (18m). From there and until the break, the match was pretty much played in the midfield of the team led by Milton Mendes. During that time, the best opportunity to score came from another attack led by Sérgio Oliveira, who crossed for a good header from Mbemba, with Amir saving it and then saving the shot from Taremi as well (34m). Shortly after, Marega was pushed from the back by Zainadine in the area, but neither Vítor Ferreira, nor the VAR saw a reason to signal it.

The second-half was more intense and right from the start Joel Tagueu again put Marchesín to the test, with a shot from the left wing (48m). Later, Correa also tried his luck from distance, scaring the Dragons (60m). However, the triplet owners were the ones trying with more soul, and Corona, twice (62m and 67m), showed he was the most eager.

In spite of the blue and white dominance, Marítimo also had opportunities to score. Marchesín opposed the attempt of Alipou (83m), and then Zainadine and Léo Andrade were also close to scoring (84m). The uncertainty in the scoreboard remained, but the blue and whites ended up winning thanks to two substitutes who went in during the second-half.  Rúben Macedo tackled Francisco Conceição in the area and Otávio was perfect shooting for goal, winning three important points.

FC Porto will play again next Saturday, for the Classic against Sporting. Matchday 21 starts at Estádio do Dragão at 20h30.

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