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Braga enjoying better times

Published: Tuesday 28 November 2006, 12.51CET
Things are looking up for SC Braga after a 2-1 victory at Vitória FC on Monday night took them above SL Benfica and into third place in the Portuguese Liga.
by José Nuno Pimentel
from Lisbon

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Published: Tuesday 28 November 2006, 12.51CET

Braga enjoying better times

Things are looking up for SC Braga after a 2-1 victory at Vitória FC on Monday night took them above SL Benfica and into third place in the Portuguese Liga.
Things are looking up for SC Braga after last night's 2-1 win at Vitória FC took them above SL Benfica into third place in the Portuguese Liga.

Liga recovery
Results have been mixed since Rogério Gonçalves replaced Carlos Carvalhal as coach at the start of last month, not least a 2-0 loss at UEFA Cup holders Sevilla FC last Thursday which leaves them needing results to go their way in Group C this week and then to win their remaining fixture at home to Grasshopper-Club on 14 December to have a chance of progress. But things have been going better in the Liga and since the most recent international break, Braga have defeated Benfica 3-1 and then gained victory on Monday as Wender made a goal for Paulo Jorge - the defender's third scoring header from a free-kick this season - before the forward converted the clinching penalty himself.

'Still adapting'
Gonçalves said: "We started the game very well and controlled it throughout. It was a deserved win, without a doubt." Luís Filipe, one of two players to score own goals in the 3-0 loss at Sporting Clube de Portugal that precipitated Carvalhal's departure, added: "The players are still adapting to the new coach's methods." Although Braga have two league fixtures between now and their showdown with Grasshoppers, attention is already turning to that match. The Portuguese team, who won 4-0 against FC Slovan Liberec on Matchday 2 after beginning their campaign with a 3-0 reverse at AZ Alkmaar, are confident they can make the next round. "Braga still have a chance to qualify and we will get over the Sevilla defeat," said striker Césinha. "We want to put Braga in the UEFA Cup élite."

Last updated: 28/11/06 16.12CET

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