FC Porto Shock Napoli to Advance to the Europa League Quarterfinals

By Aydin Reyhan
Ricardo Quaresma FC Porto Napoli Europa League
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Napoli hosted an FC Porto side in the second leg of the Europa League round match knowing that they needed to win after losing 1-0 last week in Portugal. In a game where they had their chances, the competitiveness of their opponents should have been expected.

The hosts played some decent soccer with their usual 4-2-3-1 as they were able to pass the ball, create plays and actually score the opening goal through Goran Pandev. In addition to this, they had a few other clutch chances they were unable to put into the back of the net.

FC Porto passed the ball around nicely as well, but they lacked individual ability in the first half. In the second, they managed to make the home side a bit nervous as they struck twice though Nabil Ghilas and Ricardo Quaresma who danced by three defenders before roofing an effort inside the top corner. After these goals, they created some more chances, but they fell asleep on defense which is why Zapata tapped home the equalizer.

The Italians were matched well in the second half, which is why they are wishing they had put in more chances in the first. With this tie, they did lose 3-2 on aggregate. They did not play a bad game, but a couple of mistakes on and off the ball cost them a place in the quarterfinals. Now they look forward to the rest of the Serie A campaign where they hope to finish within the top three.

Porto, on the other hand, can look forward to a place in the last eight. A dream match for them would be against league rivals Benfica, who are ahead of them by a total of nine points in the Portuguese Liga ZON Sagres. If they can defeat them here, they will be making yet another huge statement as they managed to grasp the title from the Lisbon side with a last minute league victory last season. Fans are still on that till this very day.

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