Maccabi Tel-Aviv 1 Porto 3: Cristian Tello, Andre Andre and Miguel Layun leave Porto on the brink
Porto turned on the style with a classy 3-1 victory at Maccabi Tel-Aviv on Wednesday that left them on the brink of the Champions League knockout stages.
The visitors deservedly led at the end of a dominant first half in the Group G encounter at the Sammy Ofer Stadium with on-loan Barcelona winger Cristian Tello squeezing home the opener in the 19th minute.
Andre Andre, who set up Tello’s opener, headed home the second shortly after the break and Miguel Layun’s well-taken finish made sure of the points.
Eran Zahavi scored Maccabi’s first goal of the competition from the penalty spot, but the Israeli champions were well beaten and can no longer qualify from the group.
Porto were excellent value for the win and Vincent Aboubakar and Evandro were guilty of missing glaring chances in either half.
It mattered little, though, and Julen Lopetegui’s side can make the round of 16 with a draw against Dynamo Kiev next time out.
Aboubakar went close twice in the early stages, first forcing Predrag Rajkovic into a brilliant flying save with a stinging 25-yard effort, before blazing over when the keeper parried Layun’s low drive.
Tal Ben Haim II was a lively presence for the hosts and he cut in from the right before hitting a low drive that drew a smart stop from Iker Casillas.
From the resulting corner, Ben Haim II missed a great chance when he headed wide inside the six-yard box after Zahavi’s cross was flicked to the back post.
And that miss proved costly as Porto went ahead in the 19th minute. Andre sprayed the ball to Tello in acres of space on the left and he took a touch into the area before poking past Rajkovic.
It should have been 2-0 before the break when Tello burst free down the right and unselfishly squared for Aboubakar, who inexplicably blazed his shot against the outside of the post with the goal gaping.
There was no change in pattern after the break and Porto doubled the lead in the 49th minute.
Maxi Pereira hung up a brilliant cross from the right byline and Andre crept in from the left to head home at the far post.
Maccabi tried to mount some pressure and Casillas responded well to his poor kick by saving Zahavi’s one-on-one effort, and from the resulting corner the same man hit a fierce volley that the Spain goalkeeper parried brilliantly.
Porto missed a great chance to make it three when the ball fell kindly to Evandro after Rajkovic saved Tello’s effort, but he fired wildly over the crossbar.
But the points were wrapped up when Tello teed up Layun in the area and he checked inside before curling into the right-hand corner.
Pereira was penalised for a body check on Zahavi shortly afterwards and he picked himself up to beat Casillas low to the left.
It was a mere blip for Porto, though, and Aboubakar almost added further gloss in the closing stages with a fierce effort that rebounded off the bar.