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Braga steam on to amateur finals

Braga stormed into the UEFA Regions' Cup finals as Group 2 winners on home soil, with coach Eduardo 'Dito' Mendez saying: "We knew we were favourites and didn't let the fans down."

Braga (in white) take on Ticino in their final Group 2 fixture
Braga (in white) take on Ticino in their final Group 2 fixture ©UEFA.com

Braga will represent Portugal in next summer's UEFA Regions' Cup finals after coming out on top in intermediary round Group 2, winning all three of their mini-tournament games on home soil.

"We had little time to prepare for the tournament, and we got the team to play good football," said coach Eduardo 'Dito' Mendez. "The players knew our objective and we knew we would win the group if we played our game because the standard of football in our country is higher than that in our opponents' home nations."

He is now looking forward to the finals, to be staged by one of the eight contenders in June 2011, but said: "We want to win this competition, but we know teams that have gone will be better than the ones we met in our group." Braga's performances justified Dito's bullish words; they led within three minutes of their opener against East, West and Central Scotland through Pedro Nobre, going on to win 3-1.

Dominic Clarke's strike for the Scots would be the only goal Braga conceded in Group 2, as they went on to beat Belgium's Team Centre 2-0 before hitting four goals without reply after the break in their final fixture against Ticino of Switzerland. "We knew we were favorites, and we didn't let the fans down," said former SC Braga and Portugal defender Dito. "We had our fans behind us and they helped too."

Braga finished six points clear at the top of the section, with each of their rivals ending the tournament with a win and two defeats. Centre beat Ticino 3-2 on the opening day, Ticino beat EWC Scotland in the next round, while the Scots beat the Belgians 3-2 on the final day.