Porto safely made it to Thursday’s UEFA Champions League group stage draw after beating LOSC Lille 3-0 on aggregate. Brahimi opened the scoring at the beginning of the second half with a superb free-kick and Jackson Martínez put the play-off contest to bed with 21 minutes to go.
Despite having won the first leg 1-0 in Lille a week ago, Porto remained true to their attacking style, dictating the pace of the game from the start. With nine minutes gone Martínez touched the ball centimetres wide after a perfect delivery by Danilo from the right.
The early pressure from the hosts, though, began to fade as the match unfolded and LOSC started to move upfield more often. Idrissa Gueye almost exploited a mistake from the Porto defence, Maicon doing just enough to prevent the midfielder from scoring. With half-time approaching the pace of the game decreased and the teams went back to their dressing rooms goalless.
Barely had the second half got under way when Brahimi converted a sensational free-kick, lifting the ball over the wall and into the top corner. The Lille response also came from a free-kick soon after, yet Fabiano in the Porto goal was equal to David Rozehnal’s attempt. Nolan Roux headed wide as the French side sought to get back in the tie, but Martínez was to finish things off on 69 minutes. After neat play between Evandro and Brahimi the Algerian set up his captain, who beat Vincent Enyeama with his left foot.
With matters settled, goal opportunities emerged at either end. Héctor Herrera drove narrowly wide, before LOSC substitute Marcos Lopes saw his goal-bound strike blocked by Danilo minutes later. The scoreboard, however, did not change again as Porto celebrated their 19th appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Zenit St. Petersburg 3 – 0 Standard Liege
APOEL Nicosia 4 – 0 AaB
BATE Borisov 3 – 0 Slovan Bratislava
Celtic 0 – 1 Maribor
FC Porto 2 – 0 Lille