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Porto in command

Kevin Fylan in Porto | March 24, 2004 12:28 IST

Deco Souza struck the opening goal and created the second to inspire Porto to a commanding 2-0 win over Olympique Lyon in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Porto, Portugal on Tuesday.

The Portuguese side, still buzzing after their shock victory over Manchester United in the previous round, were in control from the start but it was not until the final minute of the first half that they took the lead.

Benni McCarthy delivered a snap shot on the volley and the ball flew in off Deco, who probably knew little about it.

Porto continued to create chances and the 1987 European Cup winners were rewarded for an attacking display that was as patient as it was relentless when Ricardo Carvalho headed in a Deco free kick from the right for the second after 71 minutes.

Lyon, playing in their first Champions League quarter-final, only began to threaten in the closing 15 minutes and they will need a marked improvement in the second leg to deny Porto a semi-final against either holders AC Milan or Deportivo La Coruna.

Milan are firm favourites to progress after hammering Deportivo 4-1 in the first leg in Italy on Tuesday.

Porto, looking ever more serious candidates to add the Champions League crown to the UEFA Cup they won last season, ran their game from the first whistle.

Deco's guile in the centre was well supported by the powerful running of Nuno Valente and Carlos Alberto and McCarthy's persistence up front.

Porto first managed to unlock the Lyon backline in the 15th minute when Maniche's long ball found McCarthy, only for his shot to drift high over the bar.


Full back Eric Deflandre set up Lyon's first serious attack in the 25th minute, his neat pass finding Sidney Govou. He worked the ball to Giovane Elber who shot weakly at Vitor Baia.

There was one more decent chance for the French side in the first half, when the ball broke to Govou on the edge of the box to fire in a shot that was deflected over.

Otherwise, Jose Mourinho's Porto were in command and a goal that was looking all but inevitable came just before the break.

Carlos Alberto raced down the right to claim a swift ball out of defence and crossed deep to the far post. McCarthy's first-time shot was going wide but Deco managed to divert it in.

Lyon had a brief spell of pressure at the start of the second half but Porto looked even more threatening on the break, with Carlos Alberto almost supplying a second when he raced in from the right and cracked a shot just over.

The second goal finally arrived after substitute Edgaras Jankauskas won a free kick near the right touchline.

Deco's free kick drifted into the centre and Carvalho was unchallenged as he headed past Gregory Coupet.

One first-time shot from Peguy Luyindula might have given Lyon a lifeline in the final 20 minutes but the clear chances continued to come for Porto, with Ricardo Fernandes going close with three well struck shots.

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