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Monday March 20, 2000, 4:03 PM London Time
Porto still optimistic of reaching quarter-finals
By Patrick Vignal

Hertha Berlin v FC Porto (Tue, 7.45pm)
BERLIN, March 20 (Reuters) - Porto, eager to bounce after two consecutive setbacks, need at least a draw at Hertha Berlin on Tuesday to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Only pride will be at stake for the Berlin club, who have already lost all hope of advancing to the last eight in their first participation to Europe's showcase club competition.

Porto are determined to use the Hertha game to recover their momentum after back-to-back disappointments in the Champions League and the Portuguese title race.

The former European champions should have made sure their European adventure would continue last week against Sparta Prague.

But they squandered a 2-0 lead, letting the Czechs fight back to draw with two goals in the last 25 minutes. They stayed second in group A, six points behind runaway leaders Barceolona and two ahead of Sparta. Hertha are last on two points.

But as long as Porto get a draw in Berlin they will reach the last eight because, even if both Porto and Sparta finish with eight points, Porto will finish second as they have the better head-to-head record against the Czech team.

On Saturday, Porto suffered the double blow of being comprehensively beaten 2-0 away by Sporting Lisbon in a top-of-the-table clash and losing the league leadership to their ancient rivals, now one point clear in first place.

Nevertheless, Porto's combative chairman Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa was confident his team would deliver the goods against Hertha.

'I believe in a good a result and our qualifying for the quarter-finals,' he said.

Porto have no injury problems and will be able to recall veteran central defender Aloisio Alves who was suspended for the Sparta Prague game.

Hertha, seventh in the Bundesliga standings after drawing 1-1 with leaders Bayern Munich this weekend, impressed in their first Champions League campaign.

'Advancing to the second phase was a great satisfaction,' said commercial manager Dieter Hoeness. 'We came to learn and did really well. We'll be back.'

Midfielders Michael Hartmann and Andreas Neuendorff will both miss Tuesday's match through suspension.

Sebastian Deisler is fit again after sitting out of last week's 3-1 defeat to Barcelona with injury. The gifted young midfielder should start on the bench.

Coach Juergen Roeber is expected to leave out Germany defender Marko Rehmer, hampered by a sore heel.

Probable teams:

Hertha Berlin: 1-Gabor Kiraly; 2-Hendrik Herzog, 4-**** van Burik, 6-Eyjolfur Sverrisson, 17-Anthony Sanneh, 19-Andreas Schmidt, 8-Dariusz Wosz, 24-Kai Michalke, 15-Bryan Roy, 11-Michael Preetz, 22-Alex Alves.

Porto: 99-Vitor Baia; 7-Carlos Secretario, 30-Jose Esquerdinha, 29-Deco Sousa, 2-Jorge Costa, 4-Aloisio Alves, 18-Carlos Chainho, 11-Ljubimko Drulovic, 12-Nuno Capucho, 16-Mario Jardel, 9-Domingos Oliveira.

Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy)


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Viva O Norte
Viva Porto
Viva Futebol Clube do Porto
Viva Pinto da Costa
 
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At first i wanted them to go all the way. Now I'm not so sure. i don't think they deserve it frankly. Plus lately they've been playing terribly. I guess you'll probably prove me wrong in about an hour.
 

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yes lately they have been playing VERY bad
 

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Congrats on making the quarterfinals of the CL! It was a great win for your team. I am pretty sure that who ever draws you in the next round will have a very tough time beating you guys, especially if you regain the form that you had 3 months ago, before the injuries. :)
 

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I was listening to the game on the radio and the announcers were talking about how in the 2nd half Porto played very very well.....I hope we get back to early season form and them maybe we will win the TREBLE!

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Forca Jardel!
Forca Porto!
Forca Portugal!

http://portista.socceralliance.com
 

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Treble??....now I think you're asking for a bit much! :)
 

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Yes- congratulations guys. Great win. I hope you guys keep going (in the CL :)).
 

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I was afraid they wouldn't make it, but they proved they deserve to be one of the top 8 European teams! :D This is great for Portuguese football, and especially for FC Porto obviously!

I heard in the radio that among the supporters, there were flags of Benfica and Sporting. I think it'a a good example for many people :)

I also heard that the first game will be in Porto. They can beat any of those teams if they play well in both games, but they have to be even more careful with their defense.

Congratulations for the quarter finals, and...WIN THAT CUP!!
 
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