Witness the riveting encounter between Antwerp and FC Porto as they clash in a mesmerizing showdown. Immerse yourself in the full match replay and relish the captivating highlights. Brace yourself for an adrenaline-fueled spectacle in the UEFA Champions League 2023/2024, Group H – Matchday 3. Be prepared for the kickoff at 19:00 GMT on Wednesday, Oct 25, 2023.
Experiencing this electrifying event would not be complete without acknowledging the esteemed individuals involved. The match will be officiated by the distinguished Benoît Bastien from France. The momentous occasion will take place at the iconic Bosuilstadion in Deurne.
Antwerp vs FC Porto Full Match Reports
Porto’s captain, Pepe, returned to the starting lineup in style, leading the Portuguese giants to a remarkable 4-1 comeback victory against Royal Antwerp, who were at the bottom of the group. Pepe, at the age of 40 years and 241 days, became the oldest outfield player ever to grace the UEFA Champions League (UCL). The match featured an outstanding hat-trick by Evanilson.
This was a must-win game for the hosts, who had failed to secure a point in their first two matchdays, including a shocking collapse after holding a 2-0 lead against Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month. After a quiet start, Porto’s deadly duo, Galeno and Mehdi Taremi, began to assert themselves. Taremi’s shot, which struck Alhassan Yusuf’s tucked-in arm, led to unsuccessful penalty appeals, and shortly after, Galeno surged forward, sidefooting an effort narrowly wide. On the other end, winger Arbnor Muja had a shot that sailed over the crossbar, but Royal Antwerp’s manager, Mark van Bommel, didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough.
The breakthrough came when David Carmo’s sloppy pass was intercepted by Michel-Ange Balikwisha. After Vincent Janssen’s shot ricocheted off Alan Varela, Alhassan Yusuf calmly guided the ball into the net from just inside the box in the 37th minute. Porto’s troubles increased just before halftime when the injured Wendell was replaced by Evanilson. However, immediately after the break, the substitute leveled the score. Teenager Arthur Vermeeren was dispossessed through a joint effort by Galeno and Taremi, who then set up Evanilson to score, marking his third successive appearance with a goal.
Soon after, the home goalkeeper, Jean Butez, made a sharp save to deny Varela, but he couldn’t stop Porto from completing the comeback. João Mário skillfully maneuvered past Antwerp’s left-back, Jelle Bataille, and after finding Stephen Eustáquio in space, the Canada international sent the ball to the back of the net with a slight deflection off Soumaïla Coulibaly.
A crucial interception by Toby Alderweireld prevented Taremi from breaking through, but the experienced defender launched a header that struck the crossbar, while Porto’s forward, Pepê, was denied by a last-ditch block from Owen Wijndal as the game opened up. Porto’s team had no intention of letting the match become a nail-biter. João Mário played a pivotal role in their third goal, charging down the left and then delivering an excellent cross for Pepê, who executed a sublime first-time lay-off. Evanilson finished it off brilliantly with a thumping shot.
Evanilson then completed his hat-trick by beautifully lobbing the ball over Butez following Taremi’s inch-perfect pass over the top. This victory solidifies Porto’s hold on the second spot in the group, especially after Shakhtar’s loss to Barcelona earlier. Meanwhile, Royal Antwerp’s defeat adds more pressure on their manager, Mark van Bommel, who has only managed one win in eight matches across all competitions.
Man of the Match: João Mário (Porto).