Tottenham Hotspur FC can look forward to their first UEFA Cup quarter-final appearance since 1985 after a second-leg victory over SC Braga inspired by the brilliance of Dimitar Berbatov. The €16m striker scored two first-half goals and created the third for Steed Malbranque as Tottenham recovered from the shock of conceding an early goal to secure a 3-2 triumph on the night and 6-4 aggregate success.
Although leading from the first leg, the English Premiership club attacked with real verve from the start, displaying the confidence you would expect of a team with five wins from their last six matches. It was against the run of play that Braga broke the deadlock after 24 minutes, Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone flicking Andrade's free-kick over his own goalkeeper, Radek Cerny. Tottenham's unflustered response was to carry on attacking. Robbie Keane flashed a shot just past the far post, then, on 28 minutes, made amends for that miss by setting up Berbatov for the equaliser.
The Ireland forward's cute pass cut out four Braga defenders and Berbatov applied a finish to match, rolling the ball assuredly inside the far post. Fine saves from Paulo Santos then thwarted both Berbatov and Malbranque but he was merely delaying the inevitable, Tottenham's second goal arriving three minutes before the interval. Huddlestone lobbed a set-piece on to the chest of Berbatov and from the edge of the box, the in-form Bulgarian international thundered a volley into the roof of the net.
Hint at comeback
Braga sought a way back into the tie after the restart and gave themselves hope of a comeback on 61 minutes when Andrade struck a fierce free-kick through the defensive wall and past Cerny. The game was up for the Portuguese side in the 76th minute, however, when Malbranque laid the ball off to Berbatov and the No9's lovely flick let in the midfielder to complete the scoring.
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