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Doors open for Guimarães Conquistadores

Published: Monday 21 October 2013, 16.05CET
"We believed from the start we could go far," said Vitória SC goalkeeper Douglas, with last season's shock Portuguese Cup winners now a force to contend with in Group I.
by Pedro Marques
Doors open for Guimarães Conquistadores
Leonel Olimpio celebrates Guimarães's goal at Lyon on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BetisGuimarães

Goals scored8
 
6
Possession (%)55
 
45
Total attempts142
 
71
on target50
 
27
off target63
 
29
blocked29
 
15
against woodwork3
 
2
Corners75
 
28
Offsides13
 
17
Yellow cards26
 
18
Red Cards0
2
Fouls committed128
 
80
Fouls suffered141
 
78
Passes4647
 
2174
completed3661
 
1631

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)

Standings

Last updated: 20/06/2014 00:27 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Monday 21 October 2013, 16.05CET

Doors open for Guimarães Conquistadores

"We believed from the start we could go far," said Vitória SC goalkeeper Douglas, with last season's shock Portuguese Cup winners now a force to contend with in Group I.

"This victory can inspire this great club to new heights," said Vitória SC coach Rui Vitória after his side beat SL Benfica 2-1 to win the 2012/13 Portuguese Cup – their first major trophy. "The road ahead is long, but qualifying for Europe will open new horizons for us."

It was a different story when Guimarães first reached a UEFA competition group stage; they picked up just one point in their 2005/06 UEFA Cup section and ended the season being relegated for the first time in nearly 50 years. However, while Rui Vitória's team have not been at their most sparkling in the Liga this time out, they top UEFA Europa League Group I after a club record 4-0 home victory against HNK Rijeka and a 1-1 draw at Olympique Lyonnais.

The Conquistadores – whose badge bears the image of Portugal's first king, D. Afonso Henriques – were even a little disappointed after failing to get the better of one-time UEFA Champions League regulars Lyon in France. "It was a little bittersweet because we felt we could have won, but we were facing very strong opponents," said the 43-year-old Rui Vitória. "Nonetheless, it is a result that allows us to keep alive our dream of going further in this competition."

Earmarked as a coach of great promise for his achievements with Guimarães, Rui Vitória has assembled a defensively rugged, counterattacking side who are used to punching above their weight. Their cup success last term followed financial problems which had forced the club to shed many of their better players, bringing in local youngsters to fill the gaps. Rui Vitória's squad is lean, but hungry. "We believed from the start we could go far in the Europa League and the results show we were right," said goalkeeper Douglas.

While Guimarães kept their cup defence on course with a 3-0 defeat of third-tier CD Fátima at the weekend, they expect a tougher assignment away to Real Betis Balompié on Thursday without suspended striker Moussa Maazou – a scorer in both previous Group I games. Guimarães, though, are not giving up hope. "We want to do well in every competition we enter," the coach explained. "We firmly believe we can go through to the next stage," added midfielder Marco Matias.

Last updated: 22/10/13 9.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000469/match=2012541/prematch/preview/index.html#guimaraes+european+ascent

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