Oriental Stun Genoa To Complete European Dream
The Stadio Luigi Ferraris was shocked by a rampant Oriental side
Oriental Lisbon have shocked CFC Genoa by three goals to one in the second leg of their Europa League playoff, meaning the Portuguese minnows will enter the competition for the first time in their history.
After a goalless first half the game sprung to life and iconic forward Sergio Liparoti pounced on an error by the Genoa defence to race in on goal and slot the ball home in front of the away fans. Only a matter of minutes later, Frederico Venâncio headed home a corner to all but put the tie beyond doubt with fifteen minutes remaining.
Or so they thought - as Genoa struck back minutes later to put the aggregate score to 4-3 with thirteen minutes on the clock. But Martins' side refused to back down and continued to play the same style that had put them two goals up.
They were rewarded deep into stoppage time when China dribbled into the area and was carelessly fouled, meaning the tie could all but truly be finished off. Caetano showed nerves of steel to slot home his spot kick in front of his own fans.
Oriental fans heaped praise among the team and manager, stating that getting to this stage of the tournament was beyond their wildest dreams. "Never ever did I think this would ever happen,"
exclaimed fan Jorge Fernandes. "I have to send my thanks and appreciation to the men on the pitch and touchline, they're worked miracles!"
Genoa fans, meanwhile, were left stunned by their teams shock exit, with many supporters believing they should have put the tie to bed before Oriental struck. "We were sluggish at the start,"
commented fan Luca Zucchetti. "It was like the team was asleep for the first hour, Oriental's goals woke them up."
The financial rewards that Oriental will gain are music to the board's ears and the chairman André Silva and his directors have expressed their delight at the surprising victory. Silva said that just competing in the group stage would help, advancing any further could change the club forever.
Vitor Martins: "I will be completely honest and say I did not expect to win nor to win in such a fashion. Three goals away is incredible and the credit must go to the players who showed undying determination to get this victory today. They will now reap the rewards and so will the club because the financial benefits of making the group stage are amazing."
Gianpiero Gasperini: "I think we were beaten by the better side on the day. I'm disappointed by our play but some of the credit must go to Oriental and Vitor [Martins] as they proved they are no pushovers. If they get a kind draw they could possibly go far.