posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 04:43 PM
Benni McCarthy's late header gave Porto a 2-1 win over Group H winners Chelsea and rescued the Champions League holders from elimination.
The Portuguese side needed a win to ensure their qualification to the knock-out stages but feared the worst when Damien Duff gave Jose Mourinho's side
a 1-0 half-time lead on his return to the Estadio do Dragao. But a superb Diego volley levelled the game before McCarthy pounced to keep Porto's
European dream alive.
Chelsea took the lead on 34 minutes when Duff cut inside before unleashing a shot from the edge of the area that Porto keeper Nuno could only palm
into his own net. The visitors deserved their half-time lead after Wayne Bridge had dragged a shot wide and Didier Drogba's header had been
brilliantly tipped onto his crossbar by Nuno.
Porto had scarcely threatened and were restricted to two long-range free-kicks from Benni McCarthy and a Derlei volley which went well over. But they
finally sprang to life on the hour mark when Diego crashed an unstoppable volley past Petr Cech after John Terry had failed to find distance with his
Cech then had to be alert to scramble away McCarthy's snap-shot as Porto's pressure mounted but Chelsea nearly led again when Nuno kept out Frank
Lampard's low shot. Substitute Helder Postiga fired an overhead kick well over in the 80th minute but Porto needed a winner - and it finally arrived
in the 85th minute when McCarthy out-jumped the Blues defence to plant a firm header from Ricardo Quaresma's pinpoint cross past Cech.