MALAGA, Spain (REUTERS) - Debutants Malaga kept their Champions League dream alive when Isco and substitute Roque Santa Cruz struck in a 2-0 win at home to 10-man Porto on Wednesday that sent the La Liga side through to the last eight 2-1 on aggregate.
Playmaker Isco put Malaga ahead with a brilliant curling effort two minutes before halftime and Porto's hopes were dealt a further blow four minutes after the break when midfielder Steven Defour was shown a second yellow card and sent off.
Malaga probed patiently for a second and Santa Cruz headed into the net from Isco's corner in the 77th minute, moments after coming off the bench.
With the tie still delicately balanced, Porto threw men forward but Malaga held firm to ensure their name will be included in Friday's draw for the quarter-finals.
"We are back in the best possible way," Isco told Spanish television broadcaster Canal Plus.
"This would have been unthinkable only a short time ago it's incredible. Nobody here has ever experienced anything like this and they all deserve it. I think we fully deserved the win. We enjoyed the match and we played our football."
Porto made much the stronger start at a packed Rosaleda stadium but had to wait until the ninth minute before creating their first genuine chance when Danilo fired a shot over the bar from close to the byline.
The home side gradually clawed their way back into the match and Porto goalkeeper Helton was forced into an acrobatic save to deny Antunes in the 35th minute.
A moment of brilliance from Isco finally broke the deadlock two minutes before halftime.
The Spain Under-21 international picked up the ball outside the area, moved into space and curled a superb shot over Helton into the top left corner.
The superb Isco came close from a tight angle just after the hour before providing the assist for Santa Cruz's decisive goal on a memorable night for the 20-year-old.