African All Stars

Nigerian defender Sanusi scores in added time as FC Porto reclaim Portuguese title from Sporting

08:53 SAST 2022/05/08
Zaidu Sanusi of FC Porto
The Super Eagles left-back provided the only goal as Sergio Conceicao's men were crowned champions

Nigerian left-back Zaidu Sanusi scored the goal that sealed a 30th Portuguese title for FC Porto as they beat Benfica 1-0 to reclaim the crown from Sporting Lisbon on Saturday.

Sanusi scored in the fourth minute of time added on when he completed a swift counter-attack from Porto to ensure the Portuguese giants moved nine points clear at the top of the table.

The victory completes what has been a memorable domestic campaign for Porto, who nearly went the season unbeaten before FC Braga ended their unblemished run two weeks ago, but they had already set a new mark of 58 games without defeat by then.

The first half ended goalless and it was Benfica who were celebrating, albeit for a few seconds, after the interval when red-hot striker Darwin Nunez put them ahead but the goal was ruled out by VAR.

Both teams then went for each other’s jugular but the deadlock was not broken until deep into extra time when.

With six minutes added on, the 24-year-old Super Eagles defender produced a neat finish when he met Pepe’s cross in the Benfica box for his third goal of the season which turned out to be the title-clincher.

However, Sanusi had a quiet game as he won only two aerial duels while managing a 65 per cent pass completion rate, but he produced what Porto needed the most from his one shot.

Democratic Republic of Congo defender Chancel Mbemba Mangulu, who played the entire game at the heart of the Porto defence alongside veteran Pepe, also celebrated the title win with a fine performance after managing a 96 per cent pass completion rate while winning one aerial duel.

Meanwhile, Morocco international Adel Taarabt had a strong performance in the Benfica midfield but that was not enough to push his side to victory.

Porto’s win was celebrated not just in Portugal but in Nigeria as well as Super Eagles fans were delighted to see one of their own shine abroad.

Sergio Conceicao’s side have a chance to seal a memorable double as they still have the Portuguese Cup final to play against Tondela on May 22.