A late first half penalty by Alan was enough for Sporting Braga to overcome Porto to win this year’s Taça da Liga or League Cup on Saturday. It was the Minho club’s first major domestic honour since 1966. They became only the third team to win the League Cup since it was introduced in 2007-08 after Benfica and Vitória de Setúbal.

José Peseiro’s club who beat Benfica in the semi-finals went into Saturday’s match without leading scorer Éder who is out with a serious knee injury. Porto fielded a largely first-choice squad with Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and others. Although, Vitor Pereira elected to go with Fabiano in goal instead of Helton.

Braga started the match brightly in the first half, but Porto quickly found their rhythm as the match progressed. But just before the half, Porto’s Abdoulaye Ba brought down Braga’s Mossoró in the box and was given his second yellow of the match.

Braga’s Brazilian-born captain Alan made no mistake scoring on the penalty to put Os Guerreiros up at the half. With a man down, Porto pressed forward but were never able to break through. Braga were deserving winners, having defeated Porto and Benfica to win this year’s edition of the Taça da Liga.

“I am happy for the squad, the players, the club, the fans and the city. It is a deserving victory, we could have scored more goals in front of a strong club. We have been building towards this from the beginning and we deserve this title,” Manager José Peseiro told TVI at the end of the match in Coimbra.

Goalscorer Alan was also overwhelmed with joy after the match. “I was happy to have scored a goal but what was most important was the victory, the club always maintained its warrior spirit. I want to congratulate our fans and dedicate this trophy to our club president (António Salvador) who deserves a title. He is an extraordinary person,” Alan told TVI.

“This trophy is the cake, third place in the league would be the cherry on top. We need to keep fighting,” he added. Braga remain three points back of Paços de Ferreira for third place which would mean a Champions League play-off position.

Related Posts:

OPINION: Sporting Braga Make Quiet Splash In Transfer Market

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

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