“It's the olé dobadrinha”, shouted the FC Porto players before receiving the trophy of the 80th edition of the Portuguese Cup, after beating Benfica 2-1. On the pitch of the Cidade de Coimbra stadium, the blue and white party had a main protagonist: Chancel Mbemba. The Congolese central scored two goals from Sérgio Conceição's team and “offered” to the coach, who saw the 2nd half from the press gallery, the first Portuguese Cup as a coach and the 17th in 31 finals disputed, of the blue and white ensemble. The red team, who played for about an hour with one more player, failed to overcome the blue and white cohesion and only a penalty, in the final stretch of the match, relaunched the uncertainty about the winner of the challenge.
Promising game start
The Cidade de Coimbra Stadium, with no public on the stands due to the covid-19, was the stage for the decisive duel of the 80th edition of the Portuguese Cup. Benfica, in the last game of Nélson Veríssimo as coach before Jorge Jesus took over the technical command of the reds, and FC Porto, with Sérgio Conceição playing in his third final of the Portuguese Cup, as coach (one for Sp. Braga and two for FC Porto), entered the field looking to close the season smiling.
Waiting for the two teams, in the vicinity of the stadium, which had an extended security perimeter, there were about 150 fans and, although without the noise of other occasions, some support songs for the two formations were audible.
Nélson Verísimo makes a change eleven that beat Sporting (victory at Estádio da Luz by 2-1) in the last round of the championship, with Nuno Tavares being launched in the eleven and Tomás Tavares starting on the bench. Sérgio Conceição, in relation to the game with Sp Braga in the last round of the championship (defeat by 2-1 in Braga), made three changes. The natural coach of Ribeira de Frades, in the municipality of Coimbra, initially launched the usual goalkeeper of the Portuguese Cup, Diogo Costa, Mbemba also returned to the center of defense and Marega was the chosen forward, surrendering Soares. Uribe and Luís Díaz, who were in doubt, also maintained their place in the starting eleven.
Expulsions mark first part
FC Porto started the match better and Corona, at 4 ', after receiving a pass from Marega's heel, shot from the right foot, forcing Vlachodimos to close the defense against the left post. This would be the most dangerous move in the entire first half. Benfica balanced but, in the first half, Diogo Costa was not obliged to any intervention in the blue and white goal. The reds, after the strongest entry of Sérgio Conceição's men, balanced, but the biggest danger was a shot over André Almeida.
In a first part in which the danger near the goals was low, the cards would mark the first 45 minutes. With 19 fouls (seven from Benfica and 12 from FC Porto), Artur Soares Dias showed the players four yellow cards and two of them went to Luís Díaz. The Colombian saw the first at 9 ’, after a foul on Chiquinho, and at 38’, after a dangerous entry over André Almeida, saw the second yellow and was sent off. The “dragons” bank didn't like it and in the protests, Sérgio Conceição also saw yellow.
Five minutes later, the coach more sharply protested a foul marked by Artur Soares Dias and, after the indication of the fourth referee Manuel Mota to Artur Soares Dias, received the second yellow card and was forced to leave the bench. Vítor Bruno was in charge of the team and, until the end of the first part, the game hardened and the score continued without changes.
Mbemba double hero
FC Porto, just like in the first half, started the second half better and, this time, scored. Following Alex Telles' free-kick, Mbemba, at 47 ’, at the second post, headed in the bottom of the net and opened the scoring in Coimbra. Vlachodimos does not do well in the move, since the goal was not well managed.
Rafa, who was launched early in the second half, by Nélson Veríssimo to replace Cervi, came to shake up Benfica's attack, but with a set ball FC Porto would be lethal again. At 58 ’, Mbemba was once again highlighted. In a free kick by Otávio, the center-back beat Seferovic and beat Vlachodimos for the second time, leaving the blue and white team two goals ahead. The goal reassured Sérgio Conceição's men, who were suffering from the match on the bench, but saw a cohesive team sustain Benfica's attacks, which, even with the placement of Carlos Vinicíus in front with Seferovic, could not create real danger for the goal of Diogo Costa.
Incarnate reaction came late
At 74 ', André Almeida served, in the small area, Carlos Vinícius, but the top scorer of the 1st League 2019/2020, alone, headed wide, in what was the most dangerous move of the attack incarnated after the second goal of “ dragons ”. Despite having placed two strikers on the field of play, the red attack did not create danger and abused at crossings to the area, which “facilitated” the defense of FC Porto, which had been reinforced with the third center, when at 73 ', Diogo Leite was launched by Vítor Bruno.
Despite helping, the young defender of the “dragons” was not happy. At 82 ', Diogo Leite fouled Rafa inside the blue and white area. Artur Soares Dias scored a penalty and Carlos Vinícius, at 84 ′, reduced to 1-2, re-launching the uncertainty in the result for the final minutes. The reds took on even more pressure on the last stronghold of the blue and white set and, at 92 ', Jota, in the half moon zone, at the entrance of the area, shot hard and placed, with the ball hitting the post and leaving through the bottom line, in a move that Diogo Costa was beaten. After the draw was very close to being consummated, the blue and white formation held the advantage and made the “double” in Coimbra, joining the Portuguese Cup win to the national championship in the season 2019/2020 (feat that has not happened since the 2010/2011 season).
In the end, Danilo received the trophy from the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Despite having seen his team play almost an hour reduced to 10 players (if we count the minutes of compensation it was really an hour – three in the 1st half and five in the 2nd half), Sérgio Conceição was happy in Coimbra and, in addition to having danced with the players on the pitch, he added another trophy, which Casillas also held on the podium installed on the pitch, for the FC Porto curriculum. In the end, Mbemba was chosen as the man of the game.
You can see Nélson Veríssimo's statements in the press room on the DIÁRIO AS BEIRAS facebook page.
FC Porto, although it was foreseen that Vítor Bruno, assistant coach of Sérgio Conceição, would go to the press room of Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, as coach, Sérgio Conceiçao. he was expelled during the game and, due to the regulations, he could not be present, he ended up not sending anyone to speak to the journalists.
Benfica – Vlachodimos, Rúben Dias, Jardel (cap.), André Almeida, Nuno Tavares, Gabriel, Weigl (Taarabt, 59 ′), Cervi (Rafa, int.), Pizzi (Jota, 76 ′), Chiquinho (Carlos Vinícius, 59 ′ ) and Seferovic (Dyego Sousa, 76 ′)
Supelentes Svilar, Dyego Sousa, Rafa, Taarabt, Florentino, Jota, Tomás Tavares, Vinícius and Ferro
TR – Nélson Veríssimo
FC Porto – Diogo Costa, Manafá, Pepe, Mbemba, Alex Telles, Danilo (cap.), Uribe (Loum, 88 ′), Otávio (Diogo Leite, 73 ′), Luís Díaz, Corona (Sérgio Oliveira, 80 ′) and Marega
Supelentes – Marchesin, Diogo Leite, Romário Baró, Aboubakar, Loum, Sérgio Oliveira, Soares, João Mário Vítor Ferreira
TR – Sérgio Conceição
Goals: Mbemba (47 ′ and 59 ′) and Carlos Vinícius (84 g.p.)
Discipline: Yellows – Luís Díaz (9 ′ and 38 ′), Rúben Dias (12 ′), Sérgio Conceição (40 ′ and 43 ′), Luís Gonçalves (40 ′), Jardel (44 ′), Carlos Vinícius (75 ′), Alex Telles ( 90 ′)
Discipline: Red (Luís Díaz, 38 ′ p.a.) and Sérgio Conceição (43 ′ p.a.)
The entire report on the day of the final of the 80th Portuguese Cup, played on Saturday in Coimbra, can be seen in the various videos and publications available on the Facebook page of DIÁRIO AS BEIRAS, as well as in the print edition of next Monday of the newspaper.