Crvena Zvezda 2-1 Braga

Braga began their Europa League campaign in disappointing fashion with defeat in Serbia against Crvena Zvezda.

The hosts took the lead in the 75th minute, but Braga hit straight back through Galeno, only to throw it all away with loose defending, conceding a penalty which was converted for the winner in the 84th minute. 

In an even contest the Portuguese side more than held their own, taking the initiative for much of the game despite the hostile atmosphere created by the passionate home supporters.

In a match of few chances, Braga came close to breaking the deadlock midway through the second half when Lucas Mineiro’s shot deflected off the back of Ricardo Horta’s head and struck the crossbar.

Braga were unable to turn their long spells of possession into chances and Crvena began to turn up the pressure, Matheus saving well after hesitancy in the Braga defence led to a clear opening. The home team took the lead when Milan Rodic thumped in a header from a corner, but Braga produced the perfect response, Galeno seizing on a poor pass and rifling a low shot into the corner of the net from 25 yards out.

Ricardo Horta immediately fetched the ball out of the net, encouraging his side to look for the winner, but Braga were punished for passive defending in their own box and a clumsy challenge by Tormena for an obvious penalty. Aleksandar Katai made no mistake from the spot and the Serbs walked away with all three points.

“We were always the stronger team, and gave a good account of ourselves against a tough opponent on a difficult pitch in an atmosphere that is not at all easy,” said Braga coach Carlos Carvalhal.

“The players showed great attitude, but we failed in our finishing. In the Portuguese league we are the team that has the second highest number of shots, but we haven’t been scoring, and that hurt us again today. But this will change, we’re improving and now we are focusing on our next game and beating Tondela on Monday.”

By Tom Kundert

 

Comments (3)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This season is gonna suck. Braga will be average in Europa League, maybe get the second place in the group. Sporting, Benfica and Porto hopefully will get the third place in their group. The only hope would be for one or two of these teams to...

This season is gonna suck. Braga will be average in Europa League, maybe get the second place in the group. Sporting, Benfica and Porto hopefully will get the third place in their group. The only hope would be for one or two of these teams to make a deep run in Europa League, but the money reward in Europa League is not as big as in the Champions League so I'm not sure they'll prioritize Europa League or try to find a balance between performing well in Europa League and fight for automatic qualification in the Champions League the next season.

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No Trincao, no Paulinho, no Luri Medeiros. Braga just doesnt have any bite.

Despite 1 particular poster claiming Ricardo Horta is better than Joao Felix (LOL) yah he isn't even close. Again spending all night trying 30-40 meter bombs that ended...

No Trincao, no Paulinho, no Luri Medeiros. Braga just doesnt have any bite.

Despite 1 particular poster claiming Ricardo Horta is better than Joao Felix (LOL) yah he isn't even close. Again spending all night trying 30-40 meter bombs that ended up in downtown Belgrade.

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Tell me what has Joao Felix done better than Ricardo Horta at club level? We don't need to talk about international level.

Ricardo Horta stats for Braga are very impressive. He has scored 12, 11, 23 and 15 goals in all competitions in the last 4...

Tell me what has Joao Felix done better than Ricardo Horta at club level? We don't need to talk about international level.

Ricardo Horta stats for Braga are very impressive. He has scored 12, 11, 23 and 15 goals in all competitions in the last 4 seasons. He has been the main engine for Braga over the years. The only thing that's missing for him is the limelight and recognition. We all know players outside the big three are barely recognisable and off radar. If Ricardo Horta could just take the place of Felix, Guedes, or Rafa, I'm certain he won't disappoint. All he needs is the recognition.

Joao Felix had one good season at Benfica in 18/19 in which they won the league with players like Seferovic 25 goals, Rafa Silva 17 goals, Jonas 13 goals, Pizzi 13, and Joao Felix also scoring 18 goals. It was a breakthrough season not only for Joao Felix, but for players like Ruben Dias, Grimaldo, Gedson Fernandes, and Florentino Luis also.

With the big money transfer to Atletico Madrid, Joao Felix has been a disappointment ever since.

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