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VIDEO: Saleh Gomaa scores as Nacional draw with Braga
Nacional had lost five of their six competitive games coming into this tie and the coach, Manuel Machado, and indeed the players were surely feeling the pressure.
After a less than impressive first-half that seen both sides waste chances and lose possession, it would be in the second-half where most of the action took place.
Nacional had dominated most of the first-half and the opening stages of the second, and when Braga defender Aderlan Santos was sent off for fouling a Nacional player on the edge of the 18-yard box in the 56th minute, it presented a good opportunity for Nacional. Saleh Gomaa played a one-two with the resulting free-kick with Marco Matias before finding a gap in the Braga defence to slot the ball past the Russian goalkeeper, Kritsyuk.
The joy wouldn’t last, though, as Braga, despite their numerical disadvantage, took control of the game and were rewarded for their dominance in the 83rd minute, with substitute Zé Luís capitalising on a deflection from a Rafa Silva shot to make it 1-1.
Nacional’s poor form continues, and they will not be pleased with tonight’s result, considering they had a one man advantage and held a 1-0 lead for most of the second half. Next up for the Madeira side is a trip to Vitória Setúbal next weekend in what’s shaping up to be a must-win game for both sides.