The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Captain Gonzalez scores to help Porto beat Champions League debutant Austria Vienna 1-0
VIENNA - A second-half goal by captain Lucho Gonzalez gave Porto a 1-0 win over Austria Vienna in Group G of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Right back Danilo reached the byline in the 55th minute and set up Gonzalez, who wrong footed Austria Vienna goalkeeper Heinz Lindner with a low shot.
Austria Vienna midfielder Marko Stankovic missed the host's best chance for an equalizer when his header hit the near post two minutes later in Austria Vienna's first ever Champions League game.
"It was the difficult match we expected," Porto coach Paolo Fonseca said. "We gave away too many balls in the first half, but we started better in the second. We had more possession and scored when we were really dominating."
Porto, the 2004 champion, has started its 18th group stage campaign, while Vienna is the first Austrian team to have qualified since Rapid eight years ago.
The match was in the balance for the first half with neither team getting clear-cut chances. Porto came close in the third minute when Fernando's 25-meter strike forced Austria Vienna goalkeeper Heinz Lindner to a diving safe.
Otherwise, Porto created hardly any danger as its attacking moves lacked pace.
Austria Vienna had a couple of shots from distance, most notably by Florian Mader. The midfielder's free kick in the 10th seemed to surprise Helton at the near posted, but the Porto 'keeper pushed the ball wide.
Austria Vienna pushed for an equalizer in the 30 minutes, but striker Philipp Hosiner had a low shot easily saved by Helton and missed the target on two other opportunities.
"It was a near-perfect match from us." Austria Vienna coach Nenad Bjelica said. "You hardly saw the euro200 million difference in transfer value between Porto and us ... I am sure we will cause the other teams some troubles here in Vienna."
In the other group match, Atletico Madrid defeated Zenit St. Petersburg 3-1. Austria Vienna next travels to St. Petersburg, while Porto hosts Atletico on Oct. 1.
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