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Moisés talks up Braga's chances

After beating FK Partizan for the second game running, SC Braga match-winner Moisés believes the Portuguese side are now capable of challenging for the top two spots in Group H.

Moisés (left) celebrates his goal
Moisés (left) celebrates his goal ©Getty Images

SC Braga have acquired some momentum in the UEFA Champions League and although they conclude their Group H campaign against Arsenal FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk – who both have nine points – the Portuguese side are hopeful of snatching a knockout-round place.

Defiance lay at the heart of their 1-0 away victory over FK Partizan and it resonated in their post-match comments with match-winner Moisés telling UEFA.com: "Yes, we are confident [about qualifying for the last 16] because we have won two games in a row."

It was a splendid 35th-minute header from the central defender following a free-kick that made the difference in Belgrade – a memorable way to open his account in the competition and ensure at least a third-place finish for Braga, who now have six points. "It was important because it gives us the opportunity to keep fighting to make it through to the next stage," he added. "To keep the fight going we have to try and win our next game against Arsenal."

The return fixture on 23 November will reawaken unwanted memories of Braga's 6-0 September drubbing in north London when their first tentative steps in the competition saw them trip up and fall flat on their face. "That match is already history for us and our focus is only on the next one," Braga captain Vandinho told UEFA.com. "Whether we win 1-0 or 2-0 it is the same; our main objective is to win the game. If we play like we can do, we can be successful."    

The experience gained in subduing opponents amid a fevered atmosphere on Wednesday night, with home supporters eager to witness a first UEFA Champions League win, should stand Braga in good stead for the tougher tests to come.

Partizan's late onslaught could not produce an equaliser, though, as Moisés and his fellow defenders held firm, leaving midfielder Radosav Petrović to lament: "It is a pity, we missed the opportunity for a historic first victory in the Champions League. I had two great chances to score but I was not focused enough, that's football."

Their fourth successive defeat ended any lingering hopes that Partizan could transfer to the UEFA Europa League in the spring. "It's a big disappointment because before the game we believed we could get third place but this is football, this is our reality," said forward Ivica Iliev.

"I hope and believe our team has got stronger through the competition but only if we are in the Champions League two or three years running can we do better. It's not ideal to play one year and then not again for seven years."