Koka scores as Braga draw away to Gent in Europa League
Braga took the lead twice as they were held to a 2-2 draw away at Gent, with Egypt international Koka scoring his side’s second with Stojilijkovic, Milicevic and Coulibaly also finding the scoresheet for both sides respectively.
Gent XI: Thoelen; Mitrovic; Asare; Nielsen; Esiti; Neto; Seif; Foket; Coulibaly; Simon; Milicevic.
Braga XI: Matheus; Pinto; Rosic; Goiano; Baiano; Amorim; Vukcevic; Horta; Koka; Eduardo; Stojilijkovic.
Braga went into the game knowing that a win would secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition, while Gent would need a win or a draw to stay in with a chance.
Although Gent dominated the early possession, it was Braga who made the early breakthrough thanks to a goalkeeping error from Thoelen. The Belgian keeper fumbled a shot from distance by Amorim, which fell kindly to Stojilijkovic who tapped the ball into an empty net.
However, the lead did not last very long as Coulibaly’s spectacular overhead kick provided the equaliser for the Belgian giants.
This goal would spark some late drama, as Egypt striker Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ would benefit from another rebound to put Braga in the lead with the simplest of finishes.
Before the first half was over, there was still time for Gent to equalise with yet another rebound, this time through the veteran Swiss-born Bosnian midfielder Milicevic.
The second half would prove to be much less eventful, and while Gent continued to dominate possession, they struggled to create many more clear chances and the game finished 2-2 in Belgium.
The result means that Braga are a point clear of Gent with a game to go in the group, in which Koka’s side take on group winners Shakhtar Donetsk at home. Gent will be away to Konyaspor, who will play knowing that they are eliminated from the competition.
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