Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: St. Catharines, Canada
Tue. September 13, 2022
UEFA Champions League - Group B
Dover (0-0-0, 0 points, ---) vs. Porto (0-0-0, 0 points, ---)
Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover, UK
Betting Odds: Dover: 6-4 (Favourites) Draw: 2-1 Porto: 13-8
Past Meetings: 0W 0D 0L
Porto are two time Champions League winners (1987 & 2004) and they have won Portugal's Liga ZON Sagres a remarkable 31 times, including six years in a row between 2014 and 2019. They haven't won it since, finishing 2nd last year. They weren't buyers in the offseason and actually, they sold us a player in young striker Rogelio Garcia, who is spending the year on loan at Sporting CP. Striker Sergiy Yakymchuk leads the team with 7 goals in 7 games already. Their highest valued player is left midfielder James Rodriguez. This is a very good team but we're not bad either. We can win this game and it's the first time I remember being favoured in a Champions League game.
We go with all of our main starters, including Shanon Andrea at striker and Ingo Wilke is back in goal. Young defender Mohamed Lamine Yilmaz is on the bench for the first time as a senior team player, as Daniel Traore is suspended for this match. Paul Moses is on the bench along with Said Henni. As favourites and at home, I'll stick with a control mentality.
Dover: 4-4-2 Control
GK - I. Wilke
D - R. Gaucho, C. Contreras, R. Hamon, S. Loucif
M - A. Bamba, , N. Cairney, A. Rocca, G. Bolis
S - S. Andrea, Chiquinho
Bench - M. Yilmaz, K. Zagos, S. Spall, Mancini, G. Allan, S. Henni, P. Moses
Porto come out in a flat 4-4-2 as well with Hulk and Yakymchuk up front. Sergio Romero is their goalkeeper and Rodriquez is at left midfield. I tell the team to do it for the fans and pull aside Bolis & Chiquinho ("Pick up where you left off") and Rocca ("I have faith in your abilities"). Lets get this started!!!
7' - It's ALL Porto for the first seven minutes as we barely touch the ball. Hmm.
19' - We're finally starting to make an impact on the game but there are no dangerous shots for either side yet.
21' - Shanon Andrea gets the ball just past midfield and bursts right up the seam, running past three defenders and into the box, where he shoots low to the far side and it's past Romero and into the net. SPECTACULAR individual effort by Andrea and we're ahead! DOVER GOAL 1-0
23' - Porto work possession off the ensuing kick and defender Jorge Blanco sends a ball into Hulk in our penalty area. From a narrow angle, he shoots hard and high and it handcuffs Wilke and it's in the net. Instant reply from Porto and they pull level. PORTO GOAL 1-1
29' - Yakymchuk challenges Contreras and gets a step on him but his shot is saved by Wilke.
33' - We win a corner and Rocca's cross is headed just over by Rayane Hamon.
34' - Chiquinho feeds a ball into Andrea inside the area and he embellishes a challenge and gets a yellow card.
40' - We work a quick counter attack off a failed Porto free kick and Chiquinho has a partial breakaway from midfield. With a man chasing from behind, he shoots from just outside the area but his blast just misses the far post. So close...
HALFTIME - We are the more dangerous team after a slow start, holding 54% of possession and a 13-7 (3-4 on target) shot advantage. I remind them that our supporters expect a good performance.
49' - On a Rocca corner, Shanon Andrea leaps up and heads it off the crossbar but it's safely over the goal and out of play.
50' - Wilke with a sensational stop on Yakymchuk, who uses a huge left foot to get his shot off.
53' - We work a throw in down the right side and start a glorious four-way passing play, first to Chiquinho, then to Rocca, then up to Cairney just outside the area who one touches through the defence to Arsene Bamba. He bolts off the defender's back shoulder and hits the ball on his first touch past Romero and we have the lead again. Brilliant passing and a superb finish from Bamba. DOVER GOAL 2-1
54' - My goodness. Hulk gets away again just like on our last goal and he's onside and in all alone. He has Wilke at his mercy but shoots WIDE. Hulk leaves the area with his head in his hands. Shocking miss.
61' - Porto are pouring on pressure and we change to a counter attacking mentality.
66' - On a goal kick, Porto head the ball back over our defence and Hulk gets there first. He's again in on goal and AGAIN he shoots wide. Incredible.
67' - Claudio Contreras is getting abused so I take him out and bring in Kostas Zagos. Zagos moves to right fullback and Salim Loucif comes into the middle beside Hamon.
74' - We win another corner and Rocca's cross is headed by Renato Gaucho and he hits the crossbar! We rarely move Gaucho up into the box but I decided to put him there instead of Loucif since he's taller and it almost worked out with a goal.
76' - Arsene Bamba steals the ball at midfield and sends a great ball up the middle. Shanon Andrea latches on to it and approaches the area. Romero is way out challenging him, as are two defenders so Andrea smartly stops and feeds the ball into the middle to Chiquinho and he has a wide open net to shoot at and makes no mistake! Big goal Chiquinho! DOVER GOAL 3-1
We take out a very fatigued Andrea Rocca and bring in Shaun Spall.
81' - Porto get a corner and Jairo Flores sends a cross to the far post and substitute striker Da Silva delivers a header that goes off Kostas Zagos and into the net. Porto are back in it. PORTO GOAL 3-2
Porto move to a 4-2-4 formation.
84' - Shanon Andrea is out and Paul Moses is in. Hopefully we can use that speed on a counter attack.
87' - Off an innocent throw in, Shaun Spall takes a curling shot that hits the cross bar and bounces out. What was Romero doing there?
They get one more mad scramble in front in the third minute of extra time but Wilke punches the ball away. What a game!
Dover 3 - 2 Porto
Goals - Shanon Andrea (8.0), Arsene Bamba (7.8), Chiquinho (7.9)
Assists - Chiquinho, Shanon Andrea, Neil Cairney (7.0)
Man of the Match - Shanon Andrea
Other Dover Notables - Ingo Wilke (7.2), Rayane Hamon (7.0), Claudio Contreras (7.2), Renato Gaucho (7.1), Neil Cairney (7.3)
Attendance - 20,162
We end up with 55% of possession and outshoot them 22-17 (6-8 on target). Shanon Andrea continues to perform at a ridiculously high level and we knock off a very tough Porto team.
-- We win £696,000 for the victory.
-- AaB defeat Anderlecht 2-1, Dortmund upset Olympique Lyonnais in France 2-1, Sevilla stomp Slovan Bratislava 3-0, Celtic upset Galatasaray 3-1 and Manchester United can only squeeze a draw at Panathinaikos. In Group D action, AZ win at Dinamo and Barcelona win 3-1 at Palermo.
-- In Group E action, just like I thought, Grasshoppers get annihilated against Real Madrid 8-1 (!!) while OM beat CSKA Moscow 1-0. In Group F, Hoffenheim upset Benfica 1-0 while Man City win 3-0 over Le Mans FC. In Group G, Fenerbahce and Shakhtar battle to a scoreless draw while FC Bayern beat Sampdoria 2-1. Finally, in Group H, Liverpool and Fiorentina draw 1-1 while Atletico Madrid knock off Partizan 3-0.
Dover Reserve Team Update
-- Paul Moses scored once and added two assists in our 3-3 draw against Aston Villa. Wayne Rooney and Zoltan Bardi also scored.
-- We next face Sheffield Wednesday and manager Malky Mackay comes out in the press and says we're "early favourites" in the division and that he doesn't see anyone who is able to knock us off. Ahh, mind games.
-- We head on the road to face Sheffield Wednesday in Premier League action.