Braaten edges København past Galatasaray
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
FC København 1-0 Galatasaray AŞ
The Danish title holders registered their first Group B victory to move level on four points with Roberto Mancini's team.
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FC København claimed their first victory of this UEFA Champions League group stage thanks to Daniel Braaten's early goal against Galatasaray AŞ.
Forward Braaten was the only player to score in a first half littered with inviting chances at either end, as København sought to avenge their matchday three defeat by the Turkish title holders. While the second period would be dominated by Galatasaray, Ståle Solbakken's team held out to join their vanquished opponents on four points in the Group B table, both one above Juventus.
If the home crowd and visiting contingent had combined to create a remarkable atmosphere a full hour before kick-off in Denmark, six minutes into the action Parken fairly exploded. After Rúrik Gíslason received the ball on the right, he sent a low cross into the penalty box which Norwegian international Braaten flicked, with his right foot from behind his left leg, into the bottom left corner.
The Danish champions, who had held Juventus here on matchday one, could sense another big result on home soil and, a minute later, Nicolai Jørgensen hit the post with a header. Their pressure resulted in another opportunity in the 18th minute for Gíslason. Jørgensen was again involved, showing great skill with the ball before passing to Gíslason who was denied by a last-ditch tackle at the point of shooting past Galatasaray's goalkeeping understudy Eray İşcan.
The fast tempo continued and, soon afterwards, Cimbom striker Burak Yılmaz found himself totally alone in the area when attempting to convert a cross by Didier Drogba. Once again, Johan Wiland came to FCK's rescue, as he had done countless times against Juventus. Although Bruma struck the follow-up into the net, the effort was ruled offside.
With three minutes left in the opening period, Braaten was next to threaten for the hosts. Spearheading a counterattack, he got one-on-one with Eray only to shoot straight into the keeper's arms – having failed to notice that Jørgensen, up in support, was free for an easy finish. However, Braaten was quickly in exalted company because even Drogba missed the target from a clear position moments before the half-time whistle.
Despite – or perhaps because of – their brilliant first half, FCK looked tired after the restart and their performance levels dropped significantly. It seemed that an equaliser would be forthcoming for Roberto Mancini's men as they pressed an increasingly weary København side who were struggling to keep their shape. Somehow, though, the Copenhagen club resisted their counterparts from Istanbul and in the process rekindled their Group B campaign.