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Last 16 beckons for Braga

SC Braga 3-0 R. Standard de Liège
The Portuguese side certainly look well placed to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Cup after a comfortable first-leg victory over their Belgian opponents.

Andre Leone (44) celebrates after scoring Braga's second
Andre Leone (44) celebrates after scoring Braga's second ©AFP

Braga look set for a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup after a comfortable first-leg victory over R. Standard de Liège.

Braga buoyant
The Portuguese side were two up within the first half-hour through goals from Renteria and Andre Leone. Chances were few and far between after the break but Luis Aguiar managed to make it 3-0 in the closing stages.

Renteria opener
The game started in unfortunate circumstances for Standard when attacking midfielder Steven Defour was forced off with an ankle injury in the eleventh minute, to be replaced by Benjamin Nicaise. Things went from bad to worse for the Belgian side six minutes later, when Renteria broke the deadlock with a 30-metre shot that found its way past Rorys Aragón.

Leone influence
It was 2-0 just ten minutes later after the visitors' defence failed to clear a Luis Aguiar cross and, via Evaldo, the ball found Leone, who smartly finished high into the net. The Brazilian defender was in action at the other end on the half-hour mark as he fouled Dieudonné Mbokani on the right wing. Marcos Camozzato's free-kick found Eliaquim Mangala, but his header across goal went wide, with no Standard player able to capitalise.

Late third
Chances were scarce in the second half with the Portuguese side largely happy to play possession football and hold on to their lead. Standard pressed in the closing stages, with Nicaise seeing his shot blocked and Mbokani firing over. But Braga were still dangerous at the other end and Renteria drew a fine save from Aragón before Alan set up Luis Aguiar to fire home six minutes from time, putting the result beyond doubt.