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A thief, karate and FC Porto: Adrien and Pepe explain two-goal miracle

  • Pepe and Adrien Silva explain the connection between their two goals
  • Pepe scores in the 91st minute to take third-place match to extra time
  • Adrien Silva converted penalty to win match, despite Porto whispers

By Marco Monteiro with Portugal

A missed penalty by Andre Silva – Portugal’s fourth in five days – a stoppage-time lifeline scored by a defender in the 91st minute, extra time, two red cards, and Sporting’s Adrien Silva scoring the winner: the match for third place delivered on all levels, leaving fans wide eyed and smiling.

Portugal’s two goals against Mexico, one a high-flying kick that could have easily been seen in a Hong Kong action movie and the other a zen-like penalty, were in fact connected and influenced in intricate ways that even involved one of Portugal’s oldest club rivalries. Adrien Silva and Pepe explained the goal connection to

Adrien on Pepe’s 91st-minute equaliser
“A thief in the last second,” is how Adrien described Pepe’s goal. “It’s one of those goals. It created such a good sensation. It felt like retribution for all the work we did in the entire game and it gave us that extra force that carried us through.”

Pepe on his revenge goal *
“There’s nothing better than this,” Pepe said, holding the match ball under his arm while talking to *
after the match.

“It was my last resort,” said Pepe of the Karate Kid-like lunge that allowed him to sprint towards Ricardo Quaresma’s curling ball and smash it into the goal using the studs of his right boot. “91st minute and we were in despair. But we scored just like in the first game, where Mexico managed that miracle against us in the final moment to get the draw. In this case, we drew and took the game to extra time and managed to win it.”

*Adrien on deciding to take the penalty * “Pepe was wearing the captain’s armband today, and he came to me and asked if I wanted to take it. In that moment, I felt like him and my team had a lot of confidence in me, so I stepped up.”

*Pepe on watching Adrien step up   * “Honestly, it was difficult to watch, knowing that in less than five days, we failed with four penalties. But Adrien’s a player that works so hard, and we have a lot of trust in him, so I expected him to score.”

*Adrien on Porto’s penalty influence * Andre Silva, whose recently left Porto for AC Milan, missed a penalty in the first half, deflating a Portuguese team that missed three penalties in the semi-final shoot-out against Chile.

When asked if Andre’s miss influenced Adrien’s choice of where to place his penalty, the Sporting man explained: “In a way, it was going to. I might have gone a different way based on it, but then I saw some of Mexico’s Porto players talking to [goalkeeper Guillermo] Ochoa before the penalty and giving him some advice and indicating which way I would go and which was my preferred side, so I made a different decision and it turned out to be correct.”

EltasZone Sportswriters, Sports Analysts, Opinion columnists, editorials and op-eds. Analysis from The Zone Team
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