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Ghazal & Gomaa’s Nacional progress in cup

Nacional progress
Local rivals Marítimo and Nacional played out a 1-1 draw in their Taça de Portugal quarter-final on Thursday, with Nacional progressing 6-5 on penalties.

Egyptian duo Aly Ghazal and Saleh Gomaa both started for a Nacional side aiming to reach the semi-finals of the Taça de Portugal for the first time since 2012, but to do so, they had to overcome their biggest rivals away from home in front of six thousand vocal supporters.

After a fairly even opening 18 minutes, Marítimo were awarded a penalty after Aly Ghazal handled the ball inside the area; replays showed it was probably the correct decision, although it wasn’t intentional. Bruno Gallo stepped up and sent Gottardi the wrong way to make it 1-0.

Marítimo continued to dominate throughout the remainder of the half, while Nacional still looked dangerous going forward, but 1-0 is how it ended at the interval.

Just one minute after the restart, the referee pointed to the spot once more, this time in Nacional’s favour, after half-time substitute Lucas João was brought down inside the 18-yard box by Bauer. Marco Matias, one of the best penalty takers in Portugal, made no mistake from the spot, drilling the ball high into the top corner.

The game started to get a little sloppy after this, and the best chance of the whole game, barring the obvious penalties, undoubtedly fell to Nacional’s latest recruit Christian, who sent a 30-yard free-kick sailing towards the Marítimo goal after 80 minutes, only for Salin to get a hand to it to send it crashing off the bar, with the resulting goal-mouth scramble eventually ending with the ball being cleared for a Nacional corner.

1-1 is how it finished at the end of the 90, while in an uneventful 30 minutes of extra-time, it ended goalless with Nacional eventually progressing 6-5 on penalties.

The draw for the next round has already been made, with Nacional playing Rami Rabia’s Sporting, while Koka’s Rio Ave will take on Braga in a repeat of last season’s semi-final tie, which Rio Ave won.

Braga — Rio Ave
Nacional — Sporting

Dates and kick-off times have yet to be confirmed, and these ties are two-legged.

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