TAÇA DA LIGA: Sporting Braga Eliminate Benfica On Penalties But Lose Éder

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Match Review, Primeira Liga, SL Benfica, Sporting Braga
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Sporting Braga earned a deserving win over Benfica in the semi-finals of the Taça da Liga competition on Wednesday night. Former Benfica goalkeeper Quim was the hero, stopping penalties by Luisão and Nicolás Gaitán to lead Os Guerreiros do Minho to victory.

Benfica’s Roderick Miranda also missed a penalty as Braga advances 3-2 through a penalty shoot-out. Braga Manager José Peseiro, who had come under fire recently after some poor results, spoke to the media after the match about the importance of the victory.

“It was a deserving victory. Considering the opportunities we created during the match, we could have won it in the 90 minutes. But we are happy to have won it on penalties,” Peseiro said.

Man of the Match, Quim who played for Os Águias between 2004-2010 said that this was a team victory. “It was not me who won, it was the club. A goalkeeper needs a little bit of luck, I helped the team win but this is Braga’s victory. That is what should be emphasized,” Qium told television station TVI.

The victory was overshadowed by an injury to Braga and Seleção striker Éder who left the match in the late stages after getting tangled up with Benfica defender Luisão.

Portuguese daily Diário de Notícias is reporting that Éder has suffered ruptured ligaments to his right knee and will be out 4 to 6 months. The loss is significant for Braga who are trying to overtake Paços de Ferreira for third place which would mean a chance to qualify for the Champions League.

The loss is a significant one for Paulo Bento’s Portugal side also who hope to regain their form after a number of poor performances. Although, the 25-year-old is yet to make his mark on the Seleção , this injury leaves Bento with fewer options off the bench.

Braga will now play either Rio-Ave or FC Porto in the final on April 14th in Coimbra. The two sides were scheduled to play their semi-final on Wednesday but it was cancelled with no reschedule date announced yet.

The Taça da Liga is one of two domestic cup competitions played in Portugal every season. The other being the Taça de Portugal . The competition was first introduced in the 2007-08 season. Benfica were the four-time defending champions of the tournament before Wednesday’s result.

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