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Buoyant Braga eliminate Lech

SC Braga 2-0 KKS Lech Poznań (agg: 2-1)
The Portuguese team overturned their first-leg loss courtesy of two goals before half-time to set up a tie with Liverpool FC.

Lima celebrates his goal against Lech
Lima celebrates his goal against Lech ©Getty Images

Brazilian duo Alan and Lima were on target before the break as SC Braga qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Europa League for the third time in five seasons at the expense of KKS Lech Poznań.

Alan wiped out Lech's slender aggregate lead on eight minutes, pouncing on goalkeeper Krzysztof Kotorowski's fumble. The destiny of the tie was in Braga's hands once Lima doubled their lead on the night before the break, and though Lech rallied in the closing stages the home team held on to book a tie with Liverpool FC.

Trailing by a single goal, Braga were on level terms when Kotorowski failed to hold Lima's angled shot and Alan was on the spot for a simple finish. Though far from dominant, Braga continued to fashion all the openings, even if Kotorowski's scrambling save to keep out Miguel Garcia's drive was the closest they came before doubling their advantage on 36 minutes.

Bartosz Bosacki's failure to cut out a ball down the centre allowed Hélder Barbosa time and space to compose himself before delivering into the path of Lima, who tucked away Braga's 99th goal in UEFA competition.

Lech offered little as an attacking force, with their only effort on target until the latter stages coming from Seweryn Gancarczyk. However, aware an away goal would tilt the tie back in the Polish team's favour, Braga began to step up their advances in the final 25 minutes, testing Kotorowski's handling skills with efforts from Hugo Viana and Custódio.

Lech's cause seemed in vain when Marcin Kikut was dismissed for a challenge on Silvio in the 87th minute, yet Artjoms Rudņevs, diverting wide a diagonal ball from the right, and then Jakub Wilk, who hit the bar, could have snatched it.