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Wednesday, 27 February 2013 22:05

Braga beat Benfica on penalties to make final of Taça da Liga

Quim the hero against his former employers

braga_fans.jpgBraga are in the final of the Taça da Liga. The Arsenalistas and Benfica played out an entertaining goalless draw at the Quarry tonight meaning it was a penalty shootout after 90 minutes. Former Benfica goalkeeper Quim was the hero for Braga, saving two penalties, which combined with Roderick's miss saw the home team make the final and give themselves a shot of winning a first major trophy since 1966.

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus rested Lima, Matic, Garay and Salvio, arguably the Lisbon club's most impressive outfield performers this season. And Braga took advantage to seize control of the match in the first half, dominating for practically the whole of the first 45 minutes.

Nevertheless, it was the visitors who were first to threaten. Rodrigo raced through in an early counter-attack and smashed his shot against the bar. From that moment onwards Braga poured forward. Alan, Custódio, Mossoró, Baiano and Éder all forced Artur into saves of varying degrees of difficulty with Jesus' experiment of playing Roderick in midfield seemingly a failure as the hosts controlled the middle of the pitch.

Pablo Aimar was brought on after the break and Benfica improved markedly, having the better of a well-disputed second period. As the clock began to wind down Quim saved well from Gaitán, with Artur doing likewise from Alan, but despite both sides playing some entertaining football the goals remained unbreached.

So it was the lottery of a shootout to decide who would be playing the final on 14 April in Coimbra, and when Alan missed with Braga's first attempt things looked gloomy for the home fans. Quim made sure they ended the night smiling.

Braga:
Quim, Salino, Baiano, Paulo Vinicius, Sasso, Custódio, Hugo Viana, Mossoró (João Pedro), Ruben Amorim, Alan, Éder (Zé Luís)

Benfica:
Artur, André Almeida, Melgarejo, Jardel, Luisão, Roderick, Carlos Martins (Ola John), Urreta, Gaitán (Enzo Pérez) Rodrigo, Cardozo (Aimar)

by Tom Kundert


Comments (11)
Congrats to braga/ not a big loss for benfica.
11 Thursday, 28 February 2013 19:05
I didn't get to watch the whole game but from I did see Jesus made good choices in his selection. It allowed him to rest key players while giving them a chance to progress. With these players benfica and braga were pretty much even which I believe most people anticipated. I was a bit disappointed with Jesus's selection in penalty takers. I think he should of went with more attacking players rather than luisao and Roderick. I really think that cost them the game. This competition means a lot more to braga than it does to benfica and I'm sure they are not taking it too hard. It was also a great chance to see some players we rarely get to see. I'm not trying to take anything away from braga. They played their style of football and they are always a pleasure to watch. They deserved the win and I wish them success in the future.
Great piece of business
10 Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:23
There aren't enough words to describe the incredible news.
BenficaTV will broadcast the BPL in Portugal.
Fantastic piece of business.

I know that some have disparaged the BPL by stating how over rated it is and how they are just buying trophies.
Whether people like it or not, the BPL has bought the best players and is a competitive league. Man United is running away with it this season, but the remaining three CL spots and Europa spots are all up for grabs. BPL's relegation battle is just as big as the CL race.

Along with the matches, they will show a Premier League Preview show, a Premier League Review show and Premier League World show.
Fox Soccer has the rights in the US and basically show the same programing.
Thoughts
9 Thursday, 28 February 2013 13:18
I'm a bit disappointed. I thought JJ got the lineup right, since this is the "coffee" cup or should I say Taca de Cha. Hummm.
I will say that these are nice to nab, for when they get lumped in with all Silverware, years from now.

The only thing that bothered me was the Penalty order. D Backs got first dibs? I know that some managers let players step up to the plate and ask to go up first.
A couple of things;
- if JJ set the order in his mind, something is wrong.
- if our D Backs stepped up while forwards sat back, that's not good.

I was happy to see Bragas president condemn the person/people that attacked Benfica's bus.
It's pathetic, but even if caught nothing will happen to the culprits.

As for Porto, I don't wish harm on any player or organization member, but I do hope they go into a tailspin. Let them falter in the league, but continue in the CL.
How's that.

Since it was asked, Alan is a dirty player that will frustrate but always act like he never did anything. He's also pulled plenty of dirty stuff and then dive, ala Busquets. A player that Braga fans probably love, but would hate if he was elsewhere.
Just my opinion. And yes, there's Benfica players that were of the same ilk.
Congrats to Braga!
8 Thursday, 28 February 2013 13:12
They were clearly more up for this match and to reach the final than we were, and just about deserved it on the balance of play (either team could have won it in the 90 minutes though). I hope Braga go win it now, they deserve a trophy to show for the progress they have made in recent years.

As for Benfica, I really could not have cared less about another Taca da Liga final, it's not sour grapes, it's the plain truth. It would just be another fixture in April which would've forced us to play a Liga match late as a consequence. The Liga is the top priority, while the EL and Taca are bonuses, the Taca da Liga was way down the pecking order.

As a result I was surprised to see both Cardozo and Artur in the starting line up given that we have important matches coming up thick and fast. The rest of the selection was good from JJ, with some fringe players getting a rare start. Interesting seeing Roderick played as DM, and he did quite well and could be another option for us in that position. Once again congrats to Braga and I will root for them in the final...
Good job
7 Thursday, 28 February 2013 07:37
A relatively entertaining match, and a deserved win for Braga. After seeing the starting line-ups I expected Braga to dominate for most of the game. Which they did, even after JJ brought in some first team players. You could feel that Braga really wanted to reach the final.
A great showing for Quim, but Artur really deserves a special mention. As the commentator on TVI said: "He just doesn't have a bad day.". Alwais there, you always expect him to get the better of a shot and he just exhudes confidence which rubs off on the players and fans.
Eder and Alan
6 Thursday, 28 February 2013 05:12
How serious is Eder's injury?

What is Alan's reputation as a player? I have only seen a few Braga matches. I know he US good, but he seems very annoying.
Mdot
5 Thursday, 28 February 2013 04:01
Hey Mdot, thanks for the well-wishes. You're giving me the warm and fuzzies with your good vibrations towards Porto. Any other kind thoughts? The Taliban blow up the Estadio do Dragao? A piano falls on Vitor Pereira? Perhaps Martinez falls into an uncovered manhole while roaming the streets of Porto?

Remind me to invite you over for Thanksgiving this year.
Beto, Rui patricio, quim, Eduardo
4 Thursday, 28 February 2013 01:39
Portugal has now 4 keepers in their prime beto is being loved by Sevilla maybe not Eduardo but give him time and he will adjust. Beto btw is awsome right now
Braga were better but PENALTIES
3 Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:14
I watched 85 minutes of the game and Braga completely dominated but could not score due to brilliant goalkeeping by Artur and a break down of passing in the final third.

In saying that though Benfica should have had two penalties as firstly Gaitan was pulled back in the box (then amazing got a yellow card for simulation) then he was hacked down from behind in the box and then the player subsequently took the ball afterwards. Should have been a red card too.

NOTE: As far as I know the rules state if you are tackled from behind or indeed if your tackle takes the man first then it's a foul. If it's in the box it's a penalty

Braga were by far the better team but If Benfica get one of those penalties then they close the game out and win
good showing from braga
2 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 22:59
braga is building a culture of being competitive in all competitions. won't be long before they actually win another trophy.


as for Porto going without a trophy this year... i see them as favorites for the league, huge favorites in the league cup and they have a decent chance to win the champions league. that last one all comes down to who you get drawn against.
Braga due a title
1 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 22:36
I couldn't watch the game. Sucks to see our bench players lost this game in Braga to pks but I'm not too fussed as long as we win our liga, taca, and hopefully the EL. I hope the liga kicks Porto out of this cup and they don't get a shot at winning it and go without a title this year. Braga is long over due a title however it would be interesting to see Rio Ave v Braga as both are also fighting for that 3rd place to go to the CL.

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