Porto 2-1 APOEL: Incredible Hulk Powers Hosts To Victory
The Porto forward scored a goal in each half to give the home side a valuable win.
Hulk was the hero for Porto as he scored twice to see his team come from behind despite being reduced to ten men midway through the second half of this Champions League encounter.
The win takes the Portuguese giants to within touching distance of a place in the next phase of the competition as they moved onto six points, while APOEL remain with just one point along with Atletico Madrid.
In Jesualdo Ferreira’s 100th game in charge of the home team, he will be pleased with the spirit and determination that his side showed in what proved to be a hard-fought encounter that became even more difficult after Mariano Gonzalez was dismissed.
Having beaten Atletico Madrid in their previous home encounter Porto were confident of picking up further points against APOEL in order to remain tucked in behind Chelsea in Group D.
A bright start would have encouraged Ferreira but after Hulk and Meireles tested the keeper it appeared that Dionisios Chiotis would be the first to be beaten in the visitors goal.
It was not to be though as APOEL stunned their hosts by taking the lead in the 22nd minute when Alvaro Pereira helped the ball over his own line while trying to stop Konstantinos Charalambidis from meeting Chrysostomos Michail’s cross.
Port were forced to regroup and it took just 11 minutes for them to equalise as Hulk latched onto a neat slide pass from Falcao before hammering the ball into the far corner of the net.
APOEL have given the ball away cheaply in their own half for the goal and looked shaken leading up to the half-time whistle and even the break did nothing to calm their nerves.
With three minutes of the restart Porto had been given a penalty after the referee adjudged Chrysis Michael had handled the ball in the area and Hulk showed little compassion as he slotted in his second from 12 yards out.
Moments later Falcao could have made it three as Porto continued their pressure allowing APOEL only brief forays up field to try and find space to test Helton.
In what could have been a turning point, Mariano Gonzalez saw red for stupidly swiping out at Satsias and left his team with quarter of an hour playing with one player less.
Apart from a weak free-kick though their goal was rarely threatened and Porto were able to hold on and claim three vital points.