FC Porto booked their place in May 22‘s Taça de Portugal final against Vitoria de Guimaraes after a 3-1 second leg win at Benfica to go through on the away goals.
Benfica did a lot of the hard work two months ago, beating Porto 2-0 at the Estadao do Dragao, but the visitors bettered their feat tonight, thanks to goals from Joao Moutinho. Falcao and the Hulk. Oscar Cardozo’s penalty provided little consolation to Benfica, as they went out. Porto had come here just a few weeks previously and clinched the title from their fierce rivals, and today will sting more than their previous encounter, as they should have had the win sewn up.
After a slow opening quarter of an hour, it was Benfica who had the earliest chance, Javi Garcia sending a free header wide from a Carlos Martins free kick. Porto poured forward, desperate to chip away at the advantage Benfica gave themselves in Feburary, but the home side were equal to the threat their rivals posed, while the visitors picked up several yellow cards, giving away cautions from tackles and dissent.
Ramadel Falcao shot into Julio Cesar’s hands from the edge of the box, before Benfica missed another opportunity to kill off any resistance Porto were to pose, Oscar Cardozo toe-poking wide from the edge of the six-yard box, but that was the last chance in a well contested first half that saw few clear cut chances.
He second half started as slowly as the first. A Hulk shot was gathered at the second attempt by Julio Cesar, before sending a free kick over moments later. The ball was taken off the feet of Cardozo thanks to a vital Porto intervention, but the corner led to a break from which Hulk forced Julio Cesar into a great save, despite the thirty five yard distance.
Porto’s pressure throughout the match paid off in the 63rd minute, Joao Moutinho blasting in a shot across Julio Cesar’s body from the edge of the box, it should have been game on, and it was, less than ten minutes later, slotted in from within the six-yard box, but Benfica will have every right to be dissatisfied, as the replays showed that Hulk was a yard offside.
Minutes later, the comeback was complete. Falcao cut in from the left, shot on his right foot, the ball took a brutal deflection off Luisao and bobbled into the goal past Julio Cesar, who looked on it in anguish.
The ten-minute salvo from Porto failed to knock the wind out of Benfica’s sails. In the 80thminute, Benfica won a penalty. It was Porto’s turn to be aggrieved at the officials, as Brazilian Alex Kardec wet down softly, leaving Cardozo to blast the penalty down the middle.
Benfica were desperate, but it was still the visitors who had the incentive. Free kicks were headed away by the Porto defence, and Benfica’s frustration was shown when Coentrao was shown a yellow for dissent.
That was the end of Benfica's chances. They failed to take advantage of four minute's injury time and in the end, it was Porto to progress.