Saturday 24 March 2018

Falcao leads Porto fightback

Europa league SEMI-FINALS

Falcao struck four second-half goals to help Porto battle back to beat Villarreal 5-1 and leave the Portuguese giants all but through to the Europa League final in Dublin.

Villarreal took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Cani but Porto, led by the prolific Falcao, hit back with five goals in a stunning display after the break to take total control of the semi-final first leg.

Falcao won and converted a penalty to bring Porto level and, after Fredy Guarin made it 2-1 to the hosts, the Colombia international netted further goals in the 67th, 75th and 90th minutes to complete a remarkable comeback from Andre Villas-Boas' side.

Second-half goals from Jardel and Oscar Cardozo helped Benfica to a 2-1 win over Braga in the first leg of their semi-final.

The first all-Portuguese semi-final in a continental competition burst into life after a poor first half, with three goals in 10 minutes.

Jardel poked the ball in from short range in the 50th minute after Cardozo's header bounced back off the post.

Vandinho headed in the equaliser from a free-kick three minutes later, then Cardozo found the target with a curling free-kick.

Irish Independent

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