Haifa - Porto edged closer to a spot in the
knockout rounds of the Champions League with a comfortable 3-1 win over Maccabi
Tel Aviv in Group G on Wednesday, which ended the Israeli side's faint hopes of
reaching the last 16.
Despite Maccabi showing some flourishes in
front of an enthusiastic home crowd in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, the
Portuguese visitors were too strong for their Israeli hosts.
Cristian Tello, Andre Andre and Miguel
Layun scored for Porto, while Eran Zahavi registered the Israeli outfit's first
goal in the competition after three previous defeats in the group.
Tello put Porto ahead in the 19th minute
when Predrag Rajkovic came hesitantly off his line and was caught in no-man's
land allowing the Porto forward to slot home easily from the right.
Andre made it 2-0 in the 49th minute with a
close-range header that dampened Maccabi's hopes of getting back into the
match. Despite some occasionally promising attacks, Maccabi had difficulty
keeping up with their superior opponents.
The unmarked Layoun curled in a perfect
shot from the left corner of the area for Porto's third in the 72nd minute and
three minutes later, Zahavi scored from the penalty spot and gave the home fans
cause to cheer.
Porto top the group with 10 points, three
clear of second place Chelsea. Dynamo Kiev are third with five and Maccabi are
bottom with no points.
The Israeli side could still theoretically
finish in third place and qualify for the Europa League in the unlikely event
that they can beat Dynamo Kiev away and Chelsea at home.