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Saturday, 13 April 2013 22:37

Braga win Taça da Liga

Braga 1-0 FC Porto

mossoro-viana-alan-celebrate.jpgSporting Braga won the 2012/13 Taça da Liga (League Cup) tonight, beating FC Porto 1-0 in the final in Coimbra. A penalty from Alan on the stroke of half time gave the Arsenalistas a deserved triumph, and the club’s first major silverware for almost half a century.
José Peseiro had said on the eve of the match that winning this trophy would mean more to Braga than it would to FC Porto, and it was Braga that looked the brighter of the two sides in the opening ten minutes. However, the first moment of danger was created by the Dragons, as Defour’s cross was flicked on by Jackson and the sliding James Rodríguez just failed to get a touch on the ball that would surely have led to a goal.
The near miss signalled a shift in the match, with Porto dominating the rest of the half. Plenty of commitment was being shown by both sets of players, but with the defences on top chances were nowhere to be seen.

Turning point

Just when it seemed the first half would end goalless, Abdoulaye was adjudged to have brought down Mossoró in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and sent off the young Senegalese centre-back for a second yellow card offence. Alan calmly converted the penalty, the whistle for the interval immediately blew and Braga suddenly found themselves in a strong position, with a precious lead and an extra man.
An exciting second half made up for the lack of goalmouth action in the opening forty-five minutes, with plentiful chances created at both ends of the pitch. Porto had no choice but to throw men forward, which inevitably led to plenty of opportunities for Braga to break dangerously.
For Porto James Rodríguez brought a sharp save out of Quim with a header, Jackson fired a 20-yard shot inches wide, Mangala and Fernando got in each other’s way to prevent what seemed a certain goal from a peach of an Atsu cross, and Otamendi’s late effort was brilliantly charged down by a diving Nuno André Coelho.

Incredible miss

But the best chances undoubtedly fell to Braga. Ruben Micael must still be wondering how he sliced wide of an empty net from one yard out (albeit at a tight angle) after being assisted by Alan. Carlão and Zé Luis both missed one on ones with Fabiano, and the Porto goalkeeper saved brilliantly from Hugo Viana and José Pedro. Such were the number and glaring nature of Braga’s missed chances that one could not help but feel they might be punished.

Braga held on and coach José Peseiro – so often the nearly man of Portuguese football – could celebrate leading Braga to their first trophy since a Portuguese Cup triumph way back in 1966.

Braga coach José Peseiro:

“I’m happy for the team, the players, the club, the fans and the city. It was a well-deserved victory, and we could have scored more goals against an extremely strong opponent. From the start we have been searching for this, and this project was overdue a trophy.”
By Tom Kundert
Sporting Braga:
Quim, Baiano, Nuno André Coelho, Santos, Elderson, Custódio, Hugo Viana, Alan, Ruben Micael (João Pedro, 74’), Márcio Mossoró (Douglão , 90’+1’), Carlão (Zé Luís, 77’)
FC Porto:
Fabiano, Danilo, Abdoulaye, Mangala, Alex Sandro, João Moutinho, Fernando, Lucho (Otamendi, 46’), James (Atsu, 74’), Defour (Kelvin, 59’), Jackson
[1-0] Alan (pen), 45

Comments (15)
15 Wednesday, 17 April 2013 22:51
Filipe/ Texas
It is normal to think that Braga don't have anyone in the pipeline at this moment to sell, since they just finished selling off quite a bit of talent at the start of the year.

Between Lima, Pizzi, Ewerton they brought in around 18 million euros.

Yes, the squad is aging, despite that, there are only 3 players in their 30's. Alan, Quim, and Viana. Everyone else is under 30.

The point I did want to make is that, Braga do still have several commodities under contract that can be sold, for reasonable amounts like:

Elderson is likely to be sold this summer

Eder, will likely be sold next year if he recovers well from injury.

Other than that, they have lots of talent being groomed, none likely to transfer for notable money yet.

Stanislav Kritciuk- GK- 23- Russian International
Vincent Sasso- DE- 22- French Youth International
Ze Luis- 22- Cape Verde International
Juan Carlos- 20?- Spanish Youth Intl, Former Real Madrid
Rabiola- 23
Manoel- 23
Aderlan Santos 24
Guilherme- 22
Nikiema- 19

Not to mention Braga already picked up about 11 or 12 players all at zero cost for next season. Most are to rebuild the B team, but 3 or 4 seem to be destined for the A team.
I agree Chris
14 Monday, 15 April 2013 12:12
I've never been a VP fan, but he's done better than I ever thought he would have.
Paciencia sitting in the stands with PdC for a B Squad match can't be good for VP.

You're also right, in regards to the Taca de Cha. It will only look good years from now, when it gets lumped in for total Silverware count. This was much more important for Beaga than Porto.
I for one don't think Braga has done as great a job as everyone says. They have been qualifying for the CL, have done well in Europa (not this campaign), yet they have an aging squad with no real commodities. Where are the young prospects that will help grow the club through transfer fees? I don't want them to go into debt, but they really haven't spent wisely.

As for the Tripeiros, they were a bit tight this campaign, but the Hulk transfer was after the transfer window closed. Keep in mind that they also spent a lot of money on defenders last campaign.
For all the anguish Porto is still in it for the league title. I think that everyone was worried about this campaign, yet Porto has for the most part kept rolling. Granted they should have won the Taca de Cha and still be in the Taca.
long time coming
13 Monday, 15 April 2013 11:59
After having such great back to back seasons, it was starting to feel like Braga missed their chance to gain some deserved silverware. They truly earned this cup and it could give them the moral boost needed to push for that last CL spot.

As for people putting down this cup, yes its the 3rd best cup domestically but its still a tournament which puts the teams within the top two divisions against each other. Porto fans are right to be upset that they have yet to win it and should Benfica keep their lead, it could mean no titles in 2013.
Congrats to Braga and some clarification
12 Sunday, 14 April 2013 23:16
Well done to Braga. Glad to see them get some silverware this year despite some major slip ups. Matt/nj, VP has a bit of a right to rant, not because of the officiating necessarily (although his rants about the Benfica classico officiating were justified in January), but because he is consistently chastized by so called fans who criticize his every move.

No one cared about the taca da liga before the game but now that we lost it's suddenly a big deal? Give me a break. I have a bigger problem with punks like AVB who claim to be blue and white thru and thru yet take the first big paycheque out of town they can get. Yet most idiot Porto fans clamour for that Judas to come back instead of support a guy who has already been here 2 years and made some great results.

I am a bit ashamed to be associated with these so called fans, who have grown up with success and take it for granted. They fail to see that the administration of the club. Is the real problem this year. We could have gotten Lima first, but FCP decided to try and use coupons to buy him so Braga rightfully sold him to the higher bidder.

VP has done outstanding if you ask me when you consider the fact that literally zero dollars have been given to VP's roster selection. Izmailov cost us a player and no cash. Yet people criticize him and not the greedy administration who sold Hulk for a ridiculous sum and invested nothing back from that money.

Smarten up tripeiros, you're shaming the rest of us.
11 Sunday, 14 April 2013 16:21
About VP not starting Otamendi, I think for once VP actually made a right decision with his line-up, had he played Otamendi there was a risk that Otamendi may have been injured, and because Maicon is injured it would mean that Mangala and Abdoulaye would be starting in the league, and as we've seen from yesterday, Abdoulaye is a pretty accident-prone defender
10 Sunday, 14 April 2013 15:55
Game thoughts; & troubling post game comments...
9 Sunday, 14 April 2013 15:11
First of all-Congrats to Braga, who thoroughly deserved this trophy. They knocked out both of their bitter rivals, SLB and FCP along the way, and they deserve the trophy. You could see how much it means to these guys in the post game celebrations.

Ruben Micael was immense in the midfield tonight, and played a hell of a game. Too bad he goes back to Atletico, he should still be a Braga player.

As for my buddy VP, the conspiracy theories and the tirades against officials are getting really old. Was Otamendi hurt or something yesterday? If he was not, then the decision to start Abdoulaye turned out to be disastrous and very questionable.

My parents and teachers taught me to have humility, and more importantly, to always accept responsibility for my mistakes. I guess VP's parents and teachers didn't teach him the same lessons, as I have NEVER EVER heard him take any personal responsibility whatsoever for any of his decisions or the ensuing results. Thats truly pathetic. Porto fans deserve better, much better. If not for Fabiano, Braga could have won this game 3-1 or 4-1.
Re: Fabiano
8 Sunday, 14 April 2013 10:29
torpiano, uk
Totally agree Tom, he was the only positive on a depressing night for Portistas.

Well done to Braga, they fully deserved the win, and nice to see them win their first trophy for such a long time.
@Jonah - Fabiano
7 Sunday, 14 April 2013 09:01
Tom Kundert / Lisbon
Thanks for pointing that out. Corrected. I've got a feeling in a few years everybody's going to know his name. Great prospect.
Well done
6 Sunday, 14 April 2013 08:15
Finally a trophy to show for the great progress the club has made over the last few years. They have rapidly changed from an upper mid-table team with the occasional Uefa cup/Europa league qualification, to firmly one of the top 4 in the Liga, and a team always aiming for CL qualification. It's great to see and I'm happy for them.

I only saw the second half of the match and from what I saw Braga thouroughly deserved the win, how many chances did they get on the break in that second half? Had Eder been there they would've bagged a few more goals! Porto have to pick themselves up quick because they have to win every single remaining game this season. Congrats again to Braga and they've really deserved some silverware...
A new FC Porto player perhaps.......?
5 Sunday, 14 April 2013 07:50
I don't know about you but I don't remember FC Porto having a goalkeeper named Adriano......?

"Carlão and Zé Luis both missed one on ones with Adriano, and the Porto goalkeeper saved brilliantly from Hugo Viana and José Pedro"

I think you mean Fabiano...
long time coming
4 Sunday, 14 April 2013 04:37
Congratulations to Braga....they have deserved this and finally reap the rewards of all of sound management/fiscal conservation. Forca Braga.
Braga Made Portugal Proud!
3 Sunday, 14 April 2013 01:32
Congrats to them for the team that they've built and continue to build every year! They deserve this recognition and reward! I really personally admire them for their policy and vision of how they sign and develop Portuguese players with just the right blend of foreign talents too. I'm a Sporting supporter but definitely after Sporting Braga is a club that I really respect and admire! Congrats to all the Braga fans!
NIce Win!!
2 Sunday, 14 April 2013 01:03
Kevin Antunes/Canada
Congratulations to Braga, it's great to see them win! Braga could have finished this match, if not for so many misses in the second half especially the one from Ruben Micael.
Well he had a good run
1 Saturday, 13 April 2013 23:49
but looks like V.P. time at Porto is over.

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