Porfirio perfect

West Ham United 1 Moncur 78 Leicester City 0 Attendance: 22 ,285
Click to follow
The Independent Online
West Ham's fans must have winced in midweek when Dani scored two goals for Ajax Amsterdam in the European Champions' League. On loan to the Hammers for the back end of last season, the Portuguese striker was allowed to go in the summer because, it is said, his transfer price was too high.

Any lingering disappointment over this was eased yesterday by the performance of West Ham's latest loan acquisition from Portugal, Hugo Porfirio, a 23-year-old international borrowed from Sporting Lisbon, which culminated in him setting up the winning goal for John Moncur 13 minutes from time.

Porfirio, who has a penchant for extravagant dribbling, would probably have earned an old fashioned ear bashing from manager Harry Redknapp for his developing failure to pass to his colleagues once he had the ball.

Indeed, when Michael Hughes threaded the decisive pass through to him on the left edge of the box, it seemed set up for Porfirio to attempt another impossible assault on the dogged Leicester rearguard. But after he had shimmied past one tackle, he looked up in textbook fashion, and laid a perfect square ball for Moncur to sidefoot home.

West Ham, as a whole, spoilt their majority share of possession in this game by being over-elaborate in their build-ups. Indeed Leicester, who might justifiably claim that they did enough for a draw, almost took advantage of West Ham's wastefulness by coming back strongly in the middle part of the match. Their midfield, admirably led by Scott Taylor and Muzzie Izzet, forced West Ham back for the last period of the first half and continued to do so after the break, once their keeper Kasey Keller had excelled to deny Julian Dicks and Marc Rieper inside seconds.

Ludek Miklosko turned over Mike Whitlow's deflected shot, then plunged to his left on the hour to save Emile Heskey's effort.

The momentum was Leicester's at this stage, with Heskey smashing an instant shot from Taylor's knock-down. But the match, which had a tetchy edge to it, hence the seven bookings, looked to be heading for a draw before Porfirio's intervention.

Leicester's misery looked complete when Steve Walsh was sent off late on for his second bookable offence, a charge on Miklosko, but there was more pain to come as Heskey's injury time header was grimly swept from the line by Rieper.

Comments