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Andrade sees red in dour stalemate

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PORTO, Portugal (Reuters) -- Porto and Deportivo Coruna fought out a 0-0 stalemate in a tense but disjointed Champions League semifinal, first leg at the Estadio Do Dragao on Wednesday.

There was plenty of commitment and a bad-tempered game ended on a low note for Depor with the dismissal of defender Jorge Andrade in the 87th minute.

Tuesday's semifinal saw a more decisive result with Monaco taking a major step towards the final in Germany on May 26 with a 3-1 victory at home to Chelsea.

Porto coach Jose Mourinho, currently linked with Chelsea, was scathing about referee Markus Merk's performance.

"I believe there was only 45 minutes of football in the entire game," he said.

"When the opponents come to play like that and the referee gives permission for the other side to play like that it is very difficult.

"At the same time my players felt the pressure a bit in this type of match and were not at their normal level.

"However Mr Merk didn't help my players lack of confidence.

"A good image of the match was when Jorge Andrade was sent off it took four minutes for him to leave and the referee gave five added-on minutes, but we played only one. Markus Merk was an amazing surprise."

Deportivo team captain Mauro Silva picked up a yellow card in the first half, which means that the veteran Brazilian 1994 World Cup-winning midfielder will serve a one-match ban for accumulated bookings.

Spaniards Depor had the best chance of the first half in Portugal when their Uruguayan striker Walter Pandiani volleyed wide from 10 meters in the ninth minute.

The opening came after Manuel Pablo had chipped a pass into the area following a corner.

But Porto then began to dominate possession, although the nearest they came to a goal was when a Carlos Alberto cross ricocheted off defender Noureddine Naybet's foot and spun over the bar eight minutes from the break.

Defenses continued to have the upper hand in the second half but Porto had the best chances to win.

Midfielder Maniche Ribeiro hit the bar with a dipping drive and then substitute Edgaras Jankauskas skimmed the post with a late header.

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