A first European victory since 1969 kept A. Académica de Coimbra's slim hopes of advancing in the UEFA Europa League alive and ended Club Atlético de Madrid's continental-record run in UEFA competition.
With just one point to show from their three previous Group B outings, Pedro Emanuel's side knew victory was imperative against the two-time tournament winners and they achieved it thanks to two Wilson Eduardo goals – one of them from the penalty spot.
Atlético had travelled to Coimbra without the likes of Falcao, Juanfran, Diego Godín and Arda Turan, yet nonetheless produced a strong start. Diego Simeone's team enjoyed the game's first chance with Raúl García taking advantage of smart build-up play by Koke and Adrián López before seeing his goalbound shot deflected away by the alert João Real.
Having avoided falling behind in their eleven preceding UEFA Europa League matches, the Rojiblancos were perhaps surprised to see Académica take the lead in the 28th minute. A constant threat in the corresponding fixture at the Vicente Calderón – which Atlético won 2-1 – Wilson Eduardo showed strength to steal in front of defender Silvio before diverting João Dias's whipped cross from the right back across goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo and in at the far post.
The holders rallied after the restart with the lively Koke drawing a save from goalkeeper Ricardo before substitute Emre Belözoğlu clipped the outside of the upright with a strike from distance.
Académica continued to pose a danger going forward as the second period progressed, however, and were offered the opportunity of going 2-0 in front when Jorge Pulido felled Salim Cissé in the area. Wilson Eduardo subsequently dispatched the spot kick and, with it, curtailed his side's seven-game run without a win in Europe while – no less notably – halting Atlético's 16-match winning sequence in UEFA competition.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.