Porto upend Juve; Sevilla fall at home to Dortmund

Sports Desk, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- With goals at the start of each half, Porto surprised Juventus 2-1 Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League knockout stage battle, while Sevilla saw a run of good form interrupted by Borussia Dortmund, who prevailed 2-3 to claim an advantage in the tie.

The Portuguese club’s first-ever victory over Juventus in a competitive match was also just their second win in 10 Champions League round-of-16 games.

The hosts jumped out to a lead in the 2nd minute on a goal by Mehdi Taremi, who redirected Rodrigo Bentancur’s ill-conceived and poorly executed back-pass away from goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and into the net.

After conceding the early goal, Juve settled in to dominate possession, but the only work Porto keeper Agustin Marchesin had before the break was turning aside Adrien Rabiot’s overhead effort off a Bentancur free kick.

Porto went up 2-0 just seconds into the second half, as Wilson Manafa charged down the right side and sent a cross into the box for Moussa Marega, who tucked the ball inside the near post.

Only a save from Szczesny stopped Sergio Oliveira from extending the lead to 3-0 in the 51st minute.

Juventus regained the initiative as the minutes passed and Federico Chiesa halved the deficit with a goal in the 82nd minute, assisted by Rabiot.

But that turned to be the beginning and the end of the comeback and the referee declined even to consult VAR when Cristiano Ronaldo clamored for a penalty in stoppage time.

In Seville, the home side struck first. Suso scored in the 8th minute, with some inadvertent help from Dortmund’s Mats Hummels, whose attempted block sent the ball into the net.

But the night would belong to Erling Braut Haaland, the 20-year-old Dortmund forward who has emerged as one of European soccer’s brightest young stars.

The Norway international assisted on Mahmoud Dahoud’s equalizer in the 17th minute before getting a brace to give the visitors a 1-3 lead at the break.

Haaland leads the 2020-2021 Champions League with eight goals and has scored 25 times in 24 matches across all competitions this season.

Luuk de Jong made it 2-3 in the 84th minute and Sevilla’s opportunity for a stoppage-time equalizer was dashed by VAR, which upheld the referee’s decision not to award a penalty after De Jong went down in the box. EFE


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