Porto hopes veteran Iker Casillas can lead team to a comeback

first_imgPorto’s Danilo Pereira, center, Pepe, center right, and Iker Casillas, far left, attend a training session at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Monday, April 8, 2019. Porto will play Liverpool in a Champions League quarter final soccer match on Tuesday. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)Porto didn’t think twice when it saw an opportunity to bring in a veteran like Iker Casillas.The goalkeeper was gradually losing his starting place at Real Madrid, the team where he thrived for more than a decade, and Porto immediately grabbed the chance to lure him in to a new career in Portugal.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte “We have a two-goal deficit to make up against a very strong team that is quick on the break,” Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said Tuesday. “Getting the attacking balance right is fundamental. We have to work for defensive organization and we are 100 percent focused and aware of what our opponents are doing.”Casillas didn’t play when Porto was routed 5-0 by Liverpool at the Estadio do Dragao last season in a first-leg match in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Conceicao’s decision at the time to go with Jose Sa in goal proved costly, as the demoralizing home defeat started with a mistake by the goalkeeper.The coach isn’t expected to make the same mistake this time, and Casillas is set to start on Wednesday against Liverpool’s powerful attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, the players who netted all five goals in Liverpool’s rout last season.“Last year was a false result,” Liverpool midfielder James Milner said. “We know how good they are.”Casillas was in the Real Madrid team that lost 5-0 on aggregate to Liverpool in the round of 16 of the Champions League in 2009, but he succeeded against the English team in a pair of victories for the Spanish club in the group stage of the 2014-15 season. The 37-year-old goalkeeper won three Champions League trophies with Real Madrid, in addition to one World Cup and two European Championships with Spain’s national team.ADVERTISEMENT Philippine Arena Interchange inauguratedcenter_img When Boston Marathon turned into a sprint, Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono was ready Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ He is the player with the most appearances and most clean sheets in Champions League history, and has played the most consecutive seasons in the competition.Helping Casillas on Wednesday will be the return of central defender Pepe, who also has the experience of having won three Champions League titles with Real Madrid. Pepe missed the first leg in England because of a suspension, as did playmaker Hector Herrera.“There is no desire for revenge. Last year’s result is in the past,” Herrera said. “We have a great opportunity to continue to make history and we do not want to waste this opportunity. They have the advantage, but I believe in the ability we have as players and as a team. I am very confident and I believe we can get a good result and keep our Champions League dream alive.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next The club knew all that international experience and those numerous Champions League records would soon come in handy.With the Spanish World Cup winner in goal, Porto won its first Portuguese title in five years, and is playing in the Champions League quarterfinals for the first time since 2014-15. It is trying to reach the semifinals for the first time since it won the tournament in 2004 under Jose Mourinho for its biggest triumph.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsPorto on Wednesday will need the best of Casillas — who signed from Real Madrid in the summer of 2015 — to reverse a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Liverpool.A clean sheet by the veteran Spaniard will be crucial if Porto is to advance, as a goal conceded at the Estadio do Dragao will force the Portuguese side to score four times to reach the last four. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew View commentslast_img read more