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Koka’s Rio Ave fall to a 2-1 defeat in Sweden
Pedro Martins decided to leave Koka on the substitutes bench, and opt for a more defensive approach to the game, but this didn’t quite go as planned, particularly in the first half.
Rio Ave were on the back-foot for most of the first half, and they paid the price for some very poor defending by conceding twice before half-time.
Elfsborg got their opener after 27 minutes, when a Johan Larsson pass took out the entire Rio Ave defence, leaving Viktor Prodell with lots of space to just slot the ball home.
Larsson would turn provider again just 11 minutes later, when his corner was met by the head of the unmarked Daniel Mobaeck, who directed it towards goal but the Rio Ave goalkeeper, Cássio, got a hand to it and almost kept it out.
Rio Ave pulled a goal back just after the hour mark, when a Tarantini cross was headed in from close range by Marcelo.
Koka came on with ten minutes remaining, but there wasn’t enough time for him to make an impact because by then, Elfsborg were defending in numbers. He managed just a handful of touches, but was unable to help the team break down a resolute defence.
Rio Ave will fancy their chances of winning at home next week, and the away goal could turn out to be very important.