It was destined to be; the match between Porto and Benfica, a week before the end of the season in Portugal, deciding the fate of the championship. Kelvin, a 19-year old Brazilian talent, came off the bench and 12 minutes later, a bit into injury time, scored a stunning winner that gives Porto the lead heading into the final week of the season in one of the more dramatic turn of events anyone could have imagined.
Benfica scored first through Lima, the team’s best scorer this season, beating a failed offside trap. Despite the own goal by their keeper, Atrur Moraes, a few minutes later, it looked like a match Benfica felt more comfortable in. The possession and most of the chances went the way of Porto’s players, but their two biggest talents, the Colombian James Rodriguez and Jackson Martinez, didn’t really show up for the biggest match of the season.
As time ticked by, Porto got desperate, and Benfica became the more dangerous team through Oscar Cardozo. Porto couldn’t find a way through the very tall defensive line Benfica had on the pitch, and it looked like a 1-1 draw was the way it would end.
A counter attack went to Lleidson on the left. The 35 year old striker found the surging Kelvin inside the box, and the youngster didn’t wait, with Roderick Miranda bearing down on him, coming in for Nicolas Gaitan a few minutes earlier. Kelvin sent the ball to the only place Moraes couldn’t reach – straight to the corner, while he reacted slightly too late.
The stadium erupted, and fans broke onto the pitch. Befica, and especially their manager, Jorge Jesus, looked broken. The first loss of the season, at the worst moment, against the worst of opponents. Next week becomes a must win, but it’s no longer in their hands. Porto need a win against Pacos, who have nothing to play for. It’ll take a miracle to take away their third consecutive league title from them.