Porto knock Cristiano’s Juventus out of Champions League

Sports Desk, Mar 9 (efe-epa).- Porto advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals Tuesday for the first time since they hoisted the trophy in 2004 as Juventus went out of the competition in the round of 16 for a third straight year.

The Bianconeri won 3-2 in extra time at Turin’s Allianz stadium, but the teams ended 4-4 on aggregate and the Portuguese side prevailed on away goals.

Juve had 69 percent possession and outshot their opponents 31-14, yet their leader, five-time Ballon d’Or recipient Cristiano Ronaldo, failed to score in a European elimination match for the first time in 15 years.

Aside from an assist on the hosts’ first goal, the most prolific scorer in Champions League history did not have much of an impact in a contest that delivered plenty of drama, moments of controversy and an epic defensive stand by the visitors, who played the final 60 minutes with 10 men.

The first half saw Porto replicate the formula that got them a 2-1 victory in the first leg: organization at the back and opportunism going forward.

Juve’s Alvaro Morata forced a stop from Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin in the 3rd minute. The hosts got a chance on the free-kick six minutes later after Ronaldo was brought down just outside the area, but Aaron Ramsey missed on an attempt to redirect Juan Guillermo Cuadrado’s effort.

Moussa Marega got the ball to Mehdi Taremi in the area and the Iranian drew a foul from Juve’s Merih Demiral. VAR upheld the penalty and Sergio Oliveira beat keeper Wojciech Szczesny to give Porto a two-goal margin.

Marchesin had to come up with another fine save to thwart Morata in the 27th minute and the first half came to an end with Szczesny’s smothering a shot from Oliveira.

The complexion of the game changed dramatically in the space of five minutes early in the second half.

With an assist from Ronaldo, Federico Chiesa leveled the tie in the 49th minute.

Three minutes later, Taremi picked up a yellow card for a bad challenge and he earned a second yellow in the 54th minute by kicking the ball down-field after the whistle.

Juventus turned up the pressure and got their reward with a second goal for Chiesa in the 63rd minute.

Chiesa was on the verge of completing the hat trick in the 82nd minute, but Marchesin was there to make the stop.

The home side looked to have won it in the 91st minute thanks to Morata, but the goal was disallowed for offside, while the cross-bar thwarted Cuadrado in the 93rd.

Marega headed the ball directly to Szczesny on the only chance for either team in the first extra time.

A similar scenario played out in the 113th minute with Morata and Marchesin.

Porto won a free kick in the 115th and Oliveira sent a blast under the Juve wall that caught Szczesny off-guard to put his side up 4-3 overall.

Adrien Rabiot answered for Juventus in the 117th, heading in a corner, and it took a final intervention from Marchesin in the 124th minute to snuff out the last hope for the Bianconeri. EFE


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