Wender curtails Chievo comeback

AC Chievo Verona 2-1 SC Braga (aet, agg: 2-3) An extra-time goal from Wender guided Portuguese side Braga through to the group stage.

An extra-time goal from Wender guided SC Braga through to the UEFA Cup group stage as the Portuguese outfit held off a concerted fightback from AC Chievo Verona to win 3-2 on aggregate in a match that saw three players dismissed. Goals from Simone Tiribocchi and Denis Godeas had taken the home team to the cusp of a stunning comeback but the evening was to end in disappointment for them.

Kosowski threat
Trailing 2-0 going into the second leg, Chievo threw caution to the wind from the kick-off but struggled to marry their energetic approach play with meaningful chances. Polish winger Kamil Kosowski proved a roving threat on the left flank, however, and eight minutes before half-time he delivered a pinpoint cross for Tiribocchi to power in the header.

Braga response
Chievo's good work was almost undone early in the second half as goalkeeper Vincenzo Sicignano contrived to miss Michele Marcolini's back-pass. Stranded, he was grateful to watch the ball trickle wide for a corner and he was equally relieved when substitute Maciel then missed from close range. João Pinto and Wender also flashed shots just wide as Braga looked to put the game to rest before another cross from Kosowski produced a second Chievo goal in the 67th minute, this time for Godeas after Marcolini's strike had been parried.

Fiery finale
Chievo's joy was fleeting and within a minute Paolo Sammarco had been dismissed. Braga were reduced to ten men themselves two minutes later when Nem picked up his second yellow card. The Italian side ended the match with nine men as Andrea Zanchetta also saw red in extra time but by then Wender had headed in Carlos Fernandes' cross to send Braga through.