Braga 1-2 Napoli: Italian champions secure victory in first round

Last Updated on 22/09/2023 by

Napoli kicked off their comeback to Europe’s top club competition with a trip to Portugal. The Italian club made it all the way to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League in the previous campaign. They would face a Braga team that had finished third in their domestic league the previous season when they got there.

Braga was making its return to the UEFA Champions League after an absence of eleven years, and the gorgeous Estádio Municipal was the setting for the club’s efforts to generate an electric atmosphere. But the home fans were left to applaud Matheus’ spectacular goalkeeping efforts rather than applauding their team’s attacking brilliance. The shotstopper denied Victor Osimhen a one-on-one opportunity to score, and the home fans were left to applaud Matheus’ performances.

Braga vs Napoli

Osimhen, who was playing the match while still wearing his now-iconic mask, would be a nuisance for the Braga defense for the whole of the game. It had been an uncharacteristically poor showing from the Nigerian forward, who had missed the target with a header before hitting the bar; the outcome was fortunate for the team that was playing at home.

But right on the cusp of halftime, Napoli scored the first goal they had so desperately needed for a long time. Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s goal, which came as a result of Jose Fonte’s poor clearance attempt, gave Napoli the lead at the perfect time. Di Lorenzo was able to thump a volley into the top of the net and give Napoli the lead.

Ricardo Horta’s attempt in the second half, which missed the goal, served as evidence that Braga improved throughout the course of the game, but it initially seemed as though the hosts wouldn’t be able to score until Bruma successfully connected with Rodrigo Zalazar’s cross and sent a headed effort past Alex Meret. 

On their way back to the UEFA Champions League, Braga would face a devastating conclusion to their season. In spite of the fact that it appeared as though Piotr Zielinski’s cross would pass through the box unopposed, an unfortunate touch from Sikou Niakaté sent the ball sliding into his own net, leaving Braga without any points to show for their efforts.

Braga will try to make apologies for their misfortunes when they return to European competition on October 3. The Portuguese team will go to the Olympiastadion in Berlin, which is the temporary home of Union Berlin, in order to play their match. The match between Napoli and Real Madrid will take place on the same day at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.


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