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The World Seen With  A Football Fan's Eye

Porto

11.10.2014 PRIMEIRA LIGA 2014/2015
FC Porto - SC Braga 2:1

Just prior to the match I realised this is going to be actually the second time for me to watch the ‘live’ competition between the two teams. Four years ago in Dublin, in the Europe’s League Final, Porto appeared the winner yet the match itself was extraordinarily boring (see the match story under “Ireland” folder).
Therefore, while going to Estadio Dragao, I had some concerns that the history may repeat. Fortunately it did not, and a large merit for this should go to the Guests’ team who resisted the domestic power of FC Porto and if somewhat “smarter” could have even got all the three points from the competition.
Upon the first whistle for the next 10 minutes the hosts could not leave their own half and the ball just like a boomerang was coming back to the FCP defenders or the goalkeeper. Braga introduced a “high pressing” solution, in a very efficient yet discrete manner, and the impression was there is no such thing like the FCP midfield. Algerian Brahimi was looking extremely lost and all of his ball possessions ended up with a retreat pass. The team’s striker, Torres (however not Fernando) decided to hide himself behind the Braga defenders’ back which made him almost invisible. The situation made the Porto’s coach nearly furious – he was very dynamically communicating with his players at the side line of the pitch however it did not seem to make any significant impression upon them. And finally 23rd minute of the came up and the shot giving the FCP a 1:0 lead made the thirty-seven thousand audience (minus Braga fans) delighted. All signs on earth and heaven suggested there would soon be more goals to come. Instead, the guests scored the equaliser, fully deserved, and the match started as if from scratch. The only interesting event before the break was the one involving the FCP physician who, while running towards the injured player, fell onto the pitch and was leaving it
hobbling thus evoking a big applause by the audience for his commitment and sacrifice.
Columbian Quintero (no. 10 on his jersey) joined the hosts after the break and made the team’s efforts much more vivid and efficient. He scored the winning goal and became a hero of the match. Braga was close to get the equaliser again yet the ball hit the post after the free kick and the rebound was nicely saved by the goalkeeper.
No “Polish accents” in FC Porto this time however a hotel receptionist who helped me buying the ticket recalled Juskowiak (Sporting Lisbon striker in the 90’s) although I was expecting some memories of Mlynarczyk and Mielcarski who successfully played at FC Porto in the last century. Still, better something than nothing…