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FC Barcelona U19A will travel to Nyon as they keep moving towards their goal of winning the UEFA Youth League. Gabri’s side have beaten Porto in the quarter finals of the competition and have secured their place in the Final Four against Salzburg, who beat Atlético Madrid. The game was exciting and it took a Jordi Mboula penalty in the 87th minute to make it 2-1 to Barça and clinch a fantastic win.

Barça went behind but they deserved their comeback win having dominated in attack and in possession throughout. The away side’s occasional speedy breaks, which led to Joao Brandao’s opener, and defensive solidity almost proved too much for the Catalans. However, the team’s belief until the dying seconds helped secure their place in Nyon.

Dominant yet lacking incision

Goals proved to be elusive for Barça during this match and they were unable to get on the scoreboard until there were only fifteen minutes to play. Gabri’s players did threaten throughout the game but they encountered a well-drilled defence intent on keeping them out. During the first half Abel Ruiz looked the most likely and almost scored Barça’s first twice. The first effort came from a free kick, which was saved excellently by Diogo Costa, and the second was a chested effort from an Mboula cross.

The blaugranas’ response

The restart initially saw no change to the script, with Barça in control. However, slightly later the Portuguese side came to life and they played some highly effective direct football. Porto struck following a perfect Cassama cross that was headed in by Bruno Costa to make it 1-0 for the away side in the 62nd minute. The away team’s goal didn’t knock the U19A’s off their stride and they didn’t panic while they attempted to level the match. However, time was running out and Porto were putting in some strong tackles and making it hard for the blaugranas. Barça broke through thanks to an Abel Ruiz goal in the 75th minute. This gave the home team confidence and they kept pushing in the hope of securing a precious win.

To Nyon!

Finally, the second goal arrived from the spot and it proved to be the winner. The match seemed like it was heading towards penalties until Jordi Mboula stepped up to bury the penalty in the 87th minute. The crowd were ecstatic but Barça still had to ride out a final assault from Porto. In the end, the U19A side managed to hang on and secure their Final Four spot with the game against Salzburg to be played in Nyon.

MATCH STATS

FC Barcelona, 2
FC Porto, 1

U19A:
Sergi Puig, Dani Morer, Cucu, Oriol Rey, Oriol Busquets, Mboula, Lee (Guillemenot, min 67), Mingueza, Abel Ruiz, Álex Collado (Santiago Bueno, min 90) and Alasana (Monchu, min 46).

Porto: Diogo Costa, Diogo Dalot, Diogo Queirós, Jorge Fernandes, Reabciuk, Rui Pires, Bruno Costa, Moreto Cassama (Queta, min 88), Rui Pedro, Abou (Yan, min 88) and Joao Cardoso (Paulo Estrela, min 80).

Goals: 0-1, Bruno Costa (min 62). 1-1, Abel Ruiz (min 75). 2-1, Mboula, penalty (min 87).

Referee: Bart Vertenten. Booked the away side's Rui Pires, Diogo Queirós, Ayoub Abou, Cassama and Lameira

Observations: 2,133 fans at the Miniestadi. The crowd included the Director, Silvio Elías; the international advisor, Ariedo Braida; the Club's CEO, Òscar Grau; the Director of Professional Sports, Albert Soler; the Professional Youth Football Technical Secretary, Pep Segura; the first team's Technical Secretary, Robert Fernández; Barça B coach, Gerard López; and the first team coaching members Juan Carlos Unzué, Robert Moreno and Joan Barbará. 

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