It was the third day of the group stages and, apart from BenficaÃ¢ÂÂs slump at Lyon, it was a positive one for Portuguese football. Braga kept their dream of alive by claiming their first victory in the Champions League, while Sporting and Porto continued their relentless march towards the second phase of the Europa League with empathic wins that give them plenty of reasons to smile.
Braga played on Tuesday against FK Partizan knowing that anything less than a victory would leave them in a bad position to extend their European journey. Manager Domingos PaciÃÂªncia was serious about turning the tide after two heavy losses against Shakhtar and Arsenal and he named four attacking-minded players - Alan, Paulo CÃÂ©sar, Matheus and Lima - in the starting XI.
The first 30 minutes were played at the pace of a turtle without a single chance for either side; whether it was inexperience at this level, fear of getting dumped or a little bit of both, the fact was anybody watching the match could label the experience about as entertaining as watching paint dry. That is until the 34th minute, when Lima decided to curl an amazing free-kick around the 30-metre mark
Sp. Braga 1-0 Partizan
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