- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BILBAO, Spain (AP) - FC Porto forward Yacine Brahimi scored one goal after setting up the opener in a 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday that sent the Portuguese side through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Brahimi’s exquisite solo effort set up Jackson Martinez to score in the 56th minute - and make amends for the striker’s missed penalty during a first-half that Porto was unfortunate to finish without a goal.

Bilbao striker Guillermo Fernandez had one of the hosts’ few scoring chances with an awkward header that hit the post in the 70th.

But three minutes later a gaffe by goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz gifted Brahimi his goal to put the result beyond doubt.

Porto rose to 10 points in Group H, while Bilbao was left in last place with one point and no hope of advancing despite having two games to play.



“It was a difficult match,” said Fernandez, who played in place of injured first-choice striker Aritz Aduriz.

“They pushed us back into our area in the first half, and even though we got forward more in the second we still weren’t able to do much.”

Also in the group, Shakhtar Donetsk routed BATE 5-0 to move onto eight points in second place. BATE has three points.

Porto remained unbeaten in 15 games between the Champions League and the Portuguese league under new Basque coach Julen Lopetegui.

“I did not expect to be qualified after only four matches,” said Lopetegui. “It is something that is not usual and that can only be achieved by great teams.”

Besides Aduriz, Bilbao started with first-choice midfielders Iker Muniain and Ander Iturraspe on the bench.

And it showed, as the two-time champions had little trouble with Bilbao’s pressure and controlled possession throughout.

Martinez provided a constant threat in the first half with his shooting and his ability to draw fouls from Bilbao’s defenders.

Brahimi then took over in the second half with his dribbling and playmaking.

“They were better than us,” said Bilbao coach Ernest Valverde. “They won their battles, we didn’t win the second balls. In the second half we came out better, but once the first goal went in it was over.”

Martinez had the game’s first scoring chance in the 12th minute when he beat his marker to tap Danilo’s cross by the post.

Usually the aggressor at its San Mames Stadium, Bilbao was limited to Mikel Rico’s off-target header in the 22nd, a shot by Oscar de Marcos early in the second half that just missed and Fernandez’s late header.

Martinez kept driving Porto forward, drawing fouls and free kicks for Maicon and Brahimi, who both went close, either side of his header that sailed wide in the 25th.

Martinez, however, failed to convert from the penalty spot in the 42nd when Danilo was fouled by Mikel Balenziaga in the area. The Colombia international fired the ball off the upper edge of the crossbar.

“The penalty I missed does not matter. What matters is that we ended up winning the match,” said Martinez. “We have been training well, we have evolved a lot since the beginning of the season and, with the talent we have, we want to fight to reach the final.”

Martinez only had to steer home a short cross from Brahimi after the Algeria forward dribbled past two defenders and drew in a third along with Iraizoz before finding his teammate in the goalmouth.

Brahimi sealed the victory when Iraizoz couldn’t control Aymeric Laporte’s routine pass, leaving Brahimi free to pounce and roll the ball in.

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