Athletic Bilbao crashed out of the Champions League with a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Porto at San Mames.
Second-half strikes from Jackson Martinez and Brahimi put paid to the Basques’ hopes in this year’s competition while the Portuguese outfit secured their place in the knockout stages.
The home side were without the services of leading scorer Aritz Aduriz, ruled out with a hamstring problem, and he was replaced by youngster Guillermo, scorer of the Basques’ goal in the 2-1 defeat to Porto in the reverse fixture two weeks ago.
Porto, meanwhile, had a number of former and current La Liga players in their team. On-loan Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro started, while Cristian Tello and Oliver Torres, on loan from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid respectively, were also included.
Porto came out of the traps with all guns blazing and dominated the early exchanges.
Colombian striker Jackson Martinez saw an early chance sail over while the same player was then guilty of a glaring miss when he headed wide from close range.
Porto were then awarded a penalty just before the break when Balenziaga was adjudged to have upended Damilo, only for Martinez to blaze the ball against the woodwork to keep Bilbao’s qualification hopes alive.
However, it took Martinez just 11 minutes to get on the scoresheet after the break. Yacine Brahimi did brilliantly down the left flank to fire in a low cross, and a combination of the No 9 and his marker bundled the ball past Gorka Iraizoz in the Bilbao goal.
Guillermo had a chance to level things with 20 minutes to go but his effort hit the woodwork. It was to prove a costly miss as Brahimi [pictured] doubled Porto’s lead three minutes later, the winger taking advantage of a huge slice of luck to tap into an empty net when a ball back to goalkeeper Iraizoz hit a divot and bounced over his foot.
Even so, it was no more than Porto deserved on a rain-soaked night in northern Spain and the margin could have been so much bigger only for some wayward finishing.
Athletic Bilbao 0-2 Porto
Martinez 56 (P), Brahimi 76 (P)
Athletic Bilbao:Iraizoz; Balenziaga; Gurpegui, Laporte, De Marcos; San Jose, Rico, Benat (Iraola); Susaeta (Muniain 46), Ibai (Viguera 73), Guillermo
Athletic substitutes: Herrerin, Bustinza, Iraola, Etxeita, Iturraspe, Viguera, Muniain
Porto: Fabiano; Danilo, Maicon, Indi, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Herrera, Oliver Torres (Neves 82); Tello (Quaresma 60), Brahimi (Adrian 90), Jackson
Porto substitutes: Fernandez, Marcano, Quintero, Neves, Aboubakar, Quaresma, Adrian
Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)