Perennial Portuguese title favorites Porto lost their first home match in more than five years this Sunday, falling 1-0 to Estoril on a late penalty kick.
The result left the three-time defending champions in third place, only four points behind leaders Benfica. Still, the shame was apparently so great that after the match first-year coach Paulo Fonseca openly questioned his job status and fans went haywire in and outside the grounds.
Porto had previously gone 81 games unbeaten at the Dragao Stadium, last losing 3-2 to Leixoes in October of 2008.
After the upset, fans mercilessly jeered their players off the pitch, even waving “white flags” as if they forgot it was only February. Meanwhile, Fonseca gave a brief, somber sideline interview, saying he would now have to “talk to the President.” The grave mood continued outside the stadium, as angry fans and media members mobbed the players’ exit.
It’s already the second time this season that Porto — who just a year ago went undefeated in league play — found themselves with an unmitigated “disaster” on their hands.
In December, after the team lost for the first time in 53 league games — away to Academica — a throng of fans stopped the team bus as it arrived back in Porto. While chanting “Play some football,” the fans kicked, slapped and even threw flares at the vehicle:
Spoiled much? When one defeat sets off this kind of firestorm, maybe it’s time to reevaluate life.
Photos: AP Images