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Braga seal comeback, knock out FC Sion

FC Sion

Photo: official website

SC Braga came twice from behind, against , to become the first team to reach this year’s round of 16.

Braga came into the match with a 2-1 lead from the first leg. Meanwhile, FC Sion were on a run of successive defeats and facing an inform host.

The home team carved out two chances from set-pieces early on. It was a small part of Braga’s strong start as they pinned the visitors back.

Theofanis Gekas surprised the home crowd by scoring against the run of play in the 16th minute He was on the end of an Assifuah cross; which we backheeled home at the near post. Koka had his first good taste of action two minutes later but was marshalled well by Ndoye.

The goal brought the contest to life. FC Sion were energized by levelling the aggregate scoreline while Braga looked to reclaim their lead.

Braga’s efforts were finally rewarded after 27 minutes. They won a penalty which was duly converted by, Portuguese midfielder, Josue. Their joy lasted only a total of two minutes as Gekas put FC Sion ahead yet again. He found himself in the right place to score from a rebound.

The Swiss side chose to sit back having levelled the tie. Braga, on the other hand, dominated possession as they looked for a goal but they couldn’t go past Sion’s body of players.The game petered to the break precariously tied 3-3 on aggregate.

SC Braga came into the second half blazing. Stojiljkovic put his side on the front as he made the match 2-2 just three minutes after the break. Koka had the closest opportunities for Braga after the equalizer but couldn’t find the net. First he sent a shot across goal wide, before forcing a save off, Sion’s keeper, Vanins.

Both sides looked for the winner but the visitors stepped up their intensity as they looked to rescue their Europa League campaign. They created chances in the last parts of the game but were repeatedly thwarted.

Koka was pulled out as the home team became increasingly desperate to protect their aggregate lead.

The result puts Koka’s Braga through to the Europa League last 16.

I have dedicated part of my time in this bad world to following African football. From CECAFA to WAFU, COSAFA to UNAF & even the forgotten UNIFFAC.

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