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Portuguese rule roost
- UEFA Cup | Porto thrash Lazio 4-1; Boavista draw Celtic 1-1

London: Brazilian striker Derlei scored twice to help Porto to a comprehensive 4-1 win over Lazio in the first leg of the Uefa Cup semi-final on Thursday.

The final could be a Porto derby after Boavista held Celtic to a 1-1 draw in Glasgow. The Hoops scored an own goal before Henrik Larsson equalized, then missed a penalty as they drew 1-1 at Celtic Park.

None of semi-finalists have ever won the Uefa Cup, but three have some European pedigree.

Lazio won the last ever Uefa Cup Winners Cup in 1998 and Celtic won the European championship in 1967. Porto was the last Portuguese team to win the Champions Cup in 1987, but Boavista’s best European showing was the Uefa Cup quarter finals nine years ago.

Porto fell behind after six minutes when Claudio Lopez took a Giuseppe Favalli cross to score a low left-footed shot.

Then it was all Porto, who dazzled to overrun Lazio in the steady rain of Portugal’s second city, also home to Boavista.

“It was a tough defeat but we have to keep our hopes up for the second leg,” Lazio coach Roberto Mancini said. “Porto was better all round. We lacked guts at times.”

Nuno Maniche equalized after 10 minutes, before Derlei scored his first goal with a glancing header from a Deco cross.

Derlei’s second, five minutes after the break, was a rebound after Lazio goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi failed to hold a Deco shot. It was Derlei’s 10th goal of the tournament, making him the Uefa Cup’s top scorer.

Celtic have not lost at home in 50 matches, but Boavista has the crucial away goal ahead of the second leg in Porto.

“We would have liked to have scored a few more goals but there is still all to play for,” Celtic striker John Hartson said.

“They are a decent side and have good players but we drew at home to Blackburn and Liverpool so there is still all to play for. With the players we have in our side, we can get an away goal so we are still in this tie.”

Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco agreed. “Celtic drew at home with Liverpool and then went to Anfield and won. This is not over.”

Boavista went ahead when striker Martelihno crossed from near the right corner. Celtic defender Joos Valgaeren lunged to clear the ball, but instead tapped it with his toe into his own net in the 48th minute while his ’keeper Robert Douglas was sprawled on the ground.

Within a minute, Larsson had levelled for Celtic, taking an accurate shot into bottom left hand corner from a clever Alan Thompson cross in the box.

Larsson missed a penalty to put Celtic ahead in the 76th minute. The Hoops were awarded the spot kick after Eder was called for a hand ball inside the box. Boavista goalkeeper Ricardo dived to his right to punch the ball away.

Boavista midfielder Pedrosa was taken off the pitch on a stretcher in the 90th minute after an aerial collision with Celtic substitute Mohamed Sylla. He was replaced by Rui Oscar.

Boavista defender Paulo Turra was given permission to play with a face mask after he fractured his nose in training. He will miss the second leg after receiving his third yellow card of the tournament.

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