Porto defeats Schalke 3-1 to win its Champions League group
PORTO, Portugal (AP) — With another dominant performance, Porto extended its winning streak by defeating Schalke 3-1 on Wednesday to guarantee first place in Group D of the Champions League.
The Portuguese champions picked up their ninth straight win with goals by Eder Militao and Jesus Corona three minutes apart early in the second half at Estadio do Dragao. Moussa Marega finished off the victory in stoppage time, shortly after Schalke pulled a goal back with a penalty converted by Nabil Bentaleb.
“We played a fantastic second half, we could have scored even more goals,” Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said.
Both teams had already advanced to the knockout stage, but first place was still up for grabs. The victory kept Porto unbeaten and gave the team a five-point gap to Schalke ahead of the final round of matches in December.
Earlier Wednesday, Galatasaray’s hopes of advancing ended with a 2-0 loss at Lokomotiv Moscow. Galatasaray is one point in front of the Russian club in the fight for third place and a spot in the knockout stage of the Europa League.
Porto leads the Portuguese league and has won 12 of its last 13 matches in all competitions, with the only setback a 1-0 loss against rival Benfica. Other than that, the team has won every game since a 1-1 draw at Schalke in the Champions League in September.
Militao scored his first goal since joining Porto in the summer with a header in the 52nd minute and Corona added to the lead with a shot from inside the area in the 55th.
Schalke, which struggled to get near the goal of Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas, scored with an 89th-minute penalty converted by Bentaleb after a handball by Porto’s Oliver Torres.
The German team tried to press for the equalizer but Marega restored a two-goal lead from inside the box deep into injury time, not long after he had a goal disallowed for offside.
“We had higher hopes for ourselves here in Porto,” Schalke defender Naldo said. “We knew they had a lot of quality up front and we were made to pay for our mistakes.”
Porto closes its group stage at Galatasaray on Dec. 11, while Schalke will host Lokomotiv Moscow.