Sporting Braga went to Estadio da Luz, in Lisbon, and surprised the hosts getting a 1-0 victory over Benfica. Joao Palhinha was the one to score the winning goal for the visitors.
The match wasn’t technically good. Far from that to be honest. There were too many fouls, a total of 37 during the whole match, and some yellow cards. The fair play was really far from this game.
During the first 45 minutes of the game, Benfica had more the ball and even created some chances, but failed. Rafa Silva and Carlos Vinicius lost the best opportunities for opening the scoring. And it would be missed a while later.
During the injury time of the first half, at 45+1, goalkeeper Vlachodimos made a great save to avoid Braga’s goal, sending the ball outside. However, after the corner kick, Joao Palhinha appeared inside the box to head the ball into the back of the net and make it 1-0 for the visitors.
In the second half, Sporting Braga decided to close their defense and keep the 3 points, that were certainly important. Benfica, on the other hand, attacked with all they got, but when it was not the post saving the visitors, it was the goalkeeper Matheus who was making great saves. Because of that, nothing changed on the scoring and the hosts left the field with no points.
Even losing, Benfica remains in the first place of the Portuguese Championship, with 54 points. However, they see their main rival, FC Porto, just one point behind them after their victory over Vitoria SC away from home. Sporting Braga, on the other hand, celebrates the good win and go to the 3rd position, with 37 points.
Both teams focus now on the first leg of Europa League’s round of 32, next Thursday. Benfica will travel to Ukraine, to face Shakhtar Donetsk, while Braga will travel to Scotland to face Rangers.