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Moisés heads Braga back into contention

FK Partizan 0-1 SC Braga
A towering Moisés header proved the difference as Braga completed the double over their hosts in Group H.

Moisés heads Braga back into contention
Moisés heads Braga back into contention ©UEFA.com

SC Braga secured a second successive win against FK Partizan thanks to Moisés's solitary strike to stay in the race for the Group H qualifying berths and condemn the home side to last place.

It was an accomplished victory that owed everything to defensive resolve and midfield discipline. The Portuguese side broke ranks to create the game's best opportunities as well but had to settle for just a single goal as Moisés dispatched a header from a free-kick with impressive power.

The home crowd did their best to whip up some fervour among their players with their raucous anthems and incessant chanting and while the decibel level barely waned, frustration began to set in as Braga contained the hosts in a finely observed game plan.

Quick to close down the man on the ball and cover any gaps, the visitors stayed well within their comfort zone in the opening half as they bided their time before attempting to catch Partizan on the counterattack.

However, their evening was threatening to become one of missed opportunities. Luis Aguiar and Paulo César found themselves with plenty of room to size up a shot but both were too hurried in their attempts and each time the ball ballooned over.

Then in the 35th minute the visitors found a route to goal as Aguiar swung a free-kick to the right-hand side of the penalty area where Moisés climbed to place a perfect header into the top corner of Vladimir Stojković's net.

It took the home side – who have still to score a goal from open play in the competition and have failed to register a UEFA Champions League victory in ten attempts – a long while to muster anything of equal threat. Early on, Cléo accepted an incisive pass from Radosav Petrović but while his work in defeating his marker was good, the execution lacked conviction.

The second period followed a predictable pattern with Partizan sending increasing numbers forward in pursuit of an equaliser while Braga closed ranks to keep them out. In the 59th minute, the energetic Ivica Iliev tried to take advantage of a goalmouth scramble but failed to seriously test Felipe.

With ten minutes remaining Almami Moreira popped up at the far post but could not beat the keeper. An increasingly desperate Partizan then saw Petrović head over the top before lifting a clear opening too high as their fourth defeat was confirmed.