Porto hit back with a late Danilo penalty to hold Basel to a 1-1 draw in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday amid controversy over a goal for the Portuguese visitors which was disallowed after a long delay and consultation between match officials.
Basel, who progressed through the group stage at the expense of Liverpool, led for three quarters of the round-of-16 first leg after Derlis Gonzalez gave them an 11th-minute lead on a freezing night.
Two-time winners Porto kept their unbeaten record in this year’s competition intact when fullback Danilo stroked home a penalty with 11 minutes to play after a handball by 36-year-old former Argentina defender Walter Samuel, but the game’s talking point was the disallowed Porto goal early in the second half.
The visitors had finished celebrating and were back on the halfway-line waiting for the restart when referee Mark Clattenburg, after a long consultation with his assistant, disallowed Casemiro’s goal for offside.
Television replays suggested that two Porto players were offside when Casemiro headed in the rebound after Maicon’s header was parried by Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik, but it was the delay which angered the Porto players and coach Julen Lopategui.
“It was difficult for us to get going again when the decision was changed after such a long time,” Lopategui said. “We reacted very well.”
“We were clearly superior to a very good team and in very adverse circumstances,” he added “They scored with their only shot on goal, they were 100 percent efficient, which is very unusual.”
Clattenburg had a busy night as he booked nine players, five from the Swiss champions and four from their opponents.
Basel scored with the first chance of the game in the 11th minute.
Fabian Frei chipped a perfectly weighted ball over the Porto defense and found Gonzalez, who held of his marker and prodded the ball past Porto goalkeeper Fabiano, but Basel lost their bite after the Paraguayan went off injured in the 25th minute and often looked like the away team as they played on the counterattack.
Porto dominated possession, but often appeared to be going nowhere as they passed the ball around in the first half.
Vaclik made his first difficult save in the 55th minute when Cristian Tello raced through and Colombia international forward Jackson Martinez saw his only chance in a quiet performance land on the roof of the net.
The game petered out after Danilo’s equalizer, with the two teams apparently happy to wait for the return leg on March 10 to settle matters.
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