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Koka’s Braga secure 4th place despite heavy loss
Braga went into the game guaranteeing a fourth place finish regardless of the score, while Sporting needed to win and for Benfica to drop points in order to be crowned champions.
Braga started the match attacking like in previous matches and so did Sporting. Rafa Silva led Braga’s early attacks from the right wing, but the players failed to score. In the tenth and 12th minutes, Braga goalkeeper Marafona saved two shots from Sporting’s Joao Mario and Gelson, respectively.
IN the 20th minute, Sporting took the lead through Teófilo Gutierrez with a goal that broke the morale of Braga’s players. Two minutes later, Braga defender Arghus was shown a red card for tackling William Carvalho right outside the penalty area, making it more difficult for his teammates to bounce back.
In the 32nd minute, Algerian striker Islam Slimani headed the ball into Braga’s net to make it 2-0 for the visitors. Sporting’s players took control of ball possession, with only a couple of chances for Braga in the remaining minutes of the first half.
In the 59th minute, the referee wrongfully disallowed a goal from Koka for the latter being offside. Bryan Ruiz made it 3-0 for Sporting in the 71st minute. Ten minutes later, Ruiz scored his second of the night and his team’s fourth goal with a great goal.
After this loss, SC Braga remained in 4th place with 58 points, securing a spot in next season’s Europa League.