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Ten-man Braga make Yednyst Plysky pay penalty

Braga 2-1 Yednyst Plysky
Skipper Daniel Simões earned the hosts a second straight win in Group A which puts Dito's men on the brink of the final.

Daniel Simões is mobbed after scoring the winner for Braga
Daniel Simões is mobbed after scoring the winner for Braga ©FPF

Braga captain Daniel Simões headed in a second-half winner as the hosts recovered from a goal down and the dismissal of Manuel Gonçalves to make it two wins from two in UEFA Regions' Cup Group A.

Six minutes after conceding a penalty, which Volodymyr Matsuta had missed with the score 1-1, Simões gave his side the lead from substitute Renato Reis's first touch of the match. José Ferreira, from the spot, had earlier cancelled out Olexandr Babor's tenth-minute opener for Yednyst Plysky, whose dreams of reaching the final are over after a second loss.

It had started promisingly for the Ukrainian side, though. Having lost striker Vadim Tarykin to a left ankle injury, they opened the scoring five minutes later through Babor, who controlled Olexandr Stetsyuk's pass across the area and coolly slid the ball past Simão Barbosa.

That gave the small band of Ukrainian supporters further reason to wave their plastic rattles, yet they were temporarily silenced midway through the half, José Ferreira restoring parity with aplomb having been clipped by Matsuta while bursting into the area.

The penalty was just reward for a Braga side who, with their short-passing game, had started enterprisingly and offered a genuine threat from wingers Rui Silva and Luís Ribeiro whenever they attacked down the flanks.

With Thursday being a national holiday in Portugal, a crowd of over 800 had gathered in the Cidade de Barcelos, and eight minutes into the second half they saw Simão Barbosa keep out Matsuta's spot-kick, awarded after Daniel Simões handled a Olexandr Shakunenko cross − how costly it proved.

Just before the hour Braga struck the decisive blow as Reis, just on, delivered a corner to the far post which Simões powered in. Though Gonçalves was dismissed for a second booking on 64 minutes, Dito's men held on and know a draw against Württembergischer FV on Sunday will suffice to send them into the final here two days later.