Thursday, November 25, 2010

Braga 2 - 0 Arsenal

More Champions League Football!  This time with Braga beating Arsenal 2-0. This may be the biggest win in the history of Sporting Club of Braga. In 1921, the club reformatted their soccer team and modeled it after the Arsenal Football Club of London. Their jerseys are very similar to Arsenal's and they are called the "Arsenalistas" here. This was the second time the teams played in the Champions League - the first one in London a few weeks ago. There Arsenal beat Braga 6-0, so there was some trepidation before this match.

It was well played and tightly contested but with no goals until the 83rd minute when Mathaseau of Braga broke free and was fed a great ball to open the scoring and make it 1-0 for Braga. The crowd went crazy and pandemonium ensued. I've never seen so many elated Portuguese! Arsenal had been pressing hard looking for the winner and were a bit shocked by this. Braga then hung on bravely as Arsenal threw everyone forward to try to avoid the loss. In the 3rd minute of extra time Mathaseau broke free again and with 3 Arsenal players hanging all over him he kept control of the ball and shot in. Again, elation and pandemonium in the stands. This was the last shot of the game as the ref blew the whistle for full-time after that. Of course no one heard the whistle for all the noise and celebration.

It was great fun to part of such a big night in Braga football. I'm sure this is one for the history books.


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