SC Braga will meet French side Paris Saint-Germain FC in the UEFA Cup Round of 16 after holding off R. Standard de Liège's attempted comeback, Luis Aguiar's late strike securing a 4-1 aggregate triumph.
The Portuguese side already had one foot in the next round after overwhelming Standard 3-0 at home last week, but arrived in Belgium expecting a determined challenge. Initially rebuffed with consummate ease, the waves of attacks from the home team intensified as the match wore on and eleven minutes from time they finally got their breakthrough when Dieu Mbokani turned in Wilfried Dalmat's cross. It set up a frenetic finale as Standard threw caution to the wind before Aguiar – who hit the killer third in Portugal – ended their hopes two minutes from time.
The home crowd may wonder what might have been had their team attacked with the same intensity from the off, but instead they had to wait fully 30 minutes before their first meaningful opening, Igor De Camargo heading over from five metres. Moments earlier the Brazil-born striker had become the first name in referee Kristinn Jakobsson's book and before half-time four players had joined him as there was no shortage of steel on show. It was end product, not earnest enterprise, that the home side wanted however, and it was Braga who came closest to breaking the deadlock before the break when Jorginho's header was tipped around the post by Sinan Bolat.
It was Bolat's last contribution as he was replaced by Rorys Aragón, yet the substitute was largely a bystander in the second period as Standard pushed on. Mbokani fired wide from range while Reginal Goreux, Dalmat, Steven Defour and the lively De Camargo were all denied by the besieged Eduardo. Mbokani finally broke through but, after seeing off chances for Dalmat and Defour, Braga had the last word and are the last of the eleven UEFA Intertoto Cup winners left standing.