Kouka suffers injury in Braga’s away victory over FH Hafnarfjordur
Egypt international Ahmed Hassan Kouka picked up an injury as Braga claimed a 2-1 victory over FH Hafnarfjordur to put one foot in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
Second-half goals from Paulinho and Nikola Stojiljkovic gave the Portuguese side a precious 2-1 away win over Iceland’s FH Hafnarfjordur in the first leg of the playoff round at the Kaplakriki Stadium on Thursday.
Hafnarfjordur XI: Nielsen; D’Ulivo; Bodvarsson; Doumbia; Olafsson; Vidarsson; Bjornsson; Vidarsson; Crawford; Gudnason; Lennon.
Braga XI: Matheus; Jefferson; Esgaio; Raul; Viana; Vukcevic; Fransergio; Xadas; Hassan; Horta; Paulinho.
Despite being overwhelming underdogs, the Icelandic side took a shock first half lead through Halldor Orri Bjoernsson after he cut in from the left and curled the ball past the Braga’s helpless keeper Matheus.
Following the half time break, Braga created several chances in an attempt to get back into the tie and avoid a shock. Eventually, Paulinho made it all square with a neat finish from a tight angle on the right wing.
Kouka was forced off the field with a nose injury on the one-hour mark after taking a boot to the face and was replaced by Nikola Stojiljkovic.
The Egypt international, who was recently called up for the Pharaohs’ encounter against Uganda in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, was taken to the hospital after he was subbed off.
The guests took the lead eleven minutes from time as substitute Stojiljkovic scored past FH Hafnarfjordur keeper Gunnar Nielsen.
Braga will be looking to secure their qualification for the group stage when they host FH Hafnarfjordur in the second leg of the playoffs at the Municipal Stadium of Braga on August 24.
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