SC Braga striker Lima believes the Portuguese club "have what it takes" to go all the way in the UEFA Europa League after becoming the first side to defeat Liverpool FC in this season's competition.
Domingos Paciência's charges maintained their superb home form in the first leg of their round of 16 tie on Thursday as Alan's 18th-minute penalty clinched a famous victory over the five-time European champions. Braga had already seen off Celtic FC, Sevilla FC and Arsenal FC in front of their own fans this term, and Lima was delighted to have claimed another notable scalp.
"We proved once again just how strong we are at home," the 27-year-old told UEFA.com."We didn't play a spectacular game but we did enough to deserve a win against a very strong opponent.
I was expecting a more aggressive Liverpool but we deserve credit for preventing them from performing. We didn't let them play their football and now we are leading the tie."
Brazilian forward Lima knows a tough challenge awaits Braga at Anfield on 17 March but insists last season's Portuguese runners-up can prevail if they keep their composure. "The second leg will be very difficult but we're prepared and we'll travel to Liverpool with the same ambition and desire to achieve our goal of reaching the quarter-finals. Everybody says playing at Anfield is something special and very hard for the visiting teams, but we just have to keep our cool. I think we have what it takes to go past Liverpool and even win this competition."
The result brings Kenny Dalglish's men back down to earth after a memorable triumph over Manchester United FC last weekend, yet midfielder Joe Cole was refusing to feel too downhearted after the club's first loss in 13 European outings. "Braga are a good team and this is a difficult place to come and play," the English international said. "We'd have liked to go away with a draw but we didn't play well in the first half. The second half was a bit better and maybe we should have got a result, but it's only half-time in the tie."
Cole believes the home supporters will play an important role in the return next week, saying: "
It will be a completely different game at Anfield. We'll play in front of our fans, there will be a good atmosphere and we'll try to score goals. Maybe we're still lacking some consistency," the 29-year-old reflected. "In football, the key is to get good results week in week out."
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