Aris Thessaloniki FC kept their hopes of reaching the last 32 of the UEFA Cup alive after coming from a goal down to earn a draw against SC Braga in a tightly-contested Group F encounter.
Braga went in front courtesy of Austrian midfielder Roland Linz's early strike but Aris defender Ronaldo Guiaro levelled matters midway through the first half to earn a share of the spoils for Dušan Bajević's side. The result means Aris stay in second place, alongside FC Bayern München with five points – but both the Greek side and Braga go into their final group games on 19 December with their hopes of reaching the next stage hanging in the balance. Aris face a tough trip to Bayern while Braga, who are two points further back, take on eliminated FK Crvena Zvezda.
Braga began the match brightly and their strong start was rewarded after just six minutes when Linz was perfectly placed to volley César Peixoto's corner past home goalkeeper Konstantinos Chalkias from close range. The goal seemed to spark the hosts into life, however, and the home fans were on their feet when a period of Aris pressure paid dividends after 26 minutes, Ronaldo heading in from six metres following good work by fellow defender Avraam Papadopoulos.
Braga looked the most likely to go on and win the game in a second half during which they controlled much of the possession. Captain Wender should have done better when he was presented with the ball while unmarked just eight metres from goal but the Braga midfielder mishit his volley and the ball sailed well wide of the left post. However, Aris did enough to maintain their imperious home form in UEFA club competition - the Yellows have now gone 18 matches unbeaten at home since making their debut in 1970.