Sporting Braga 1 Man Utd 3
Sporting Braga 1 Manchester United 3, AXA Stadium, UEFA Champions League Group Stage, November 7, 2012. With second half goals from Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, and Javier Hernandez, Manchester United were able to collect a 3-1 win against Sporting Braga at AXA Stadium. The away victory over the Portuguese meant that Sir Alex Ferguson´s Old Trafford troops were through to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Sporting Braga had been defeated 3-2 by Manchester United at Old Trafford two weeks earlier and needed to win the match to stay in contention for qualifying to the next stage. The Barclays Premier League club came into this important midweek fixture on the back of a 2-1 home win over Arsenal thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra, while the Portuguese Primeira Liga side had recently beaten Gil Vicente 3-1 at home through goals from Jose Luis Mendes Andrade, Alan Osorio da Costa Silva, and Hugo Viana. Following a comparatively boring first period in which there was no score, the clash between Manchester United and Sporting Braga burst into life shortly after the resumption. At a football stadium carved from the rock face of a quarry, Northern Ireland international Jonny Evans fouled dynamic midfield workhorse Custodio Castro as he ran into the area and authoritative head referee Felix Brych immediately awarded The Archbishops a penalty which Brazilian forward Alan Osorio da Costa Silva subsequently converted after 48 minutes.
In the 60th minute of the Champions League Group H encounter, a power cut saw the floodlights at AXA Stadium turned off and the play was suspended for some fifteen minutes. But, with just ten minutes remaining on the watch, a magnificent through ball from versatile stalwart Ryan Giggs freed second half substitute Robin van Persie who lobbed his shot beyond the reach of advancing Sporting Braga and Portugal goalkeeper Antonio Alberto Bastos Pimparel and into the net to level things out. And, a mere five minutes later, Wayne Rooney was brought down to earth inside the penalty box by central defender Nuno Coelho, and stepped up to take the spot kick himself which the Three Lions international duly converted into a goal. Then, in the second minute of stoppage time, the same player flicked the ball on to Mexican goal poacher Javier Hernandez, who managed to find the back of the net with a trademark close range effort to confirm an excellent 3-1 away victory for Manchester United over the Portuguese. Sporting Braga Team: Antonio Alberto Bastos Pimparel, Leandro Salino, Nuno Coelho, Douglao, Uwa Elderson Echiejile, Custodio Castro, Hugo Viana, Alan, Ruben Micael, Ruben Amorim, Eder. Substitutes: Quim, Baiano, Ismaily, Helder Barbosa, Djamal Mahamat, Marcio Mossoro, Ze Luis. Manchester United Team: David de Gea, Valencia, Chris Smalling, Jonathan Evans, Patrice Evra, Nani, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck. Substitutes: Anders Lindegaard, Rafael, Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Young, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Robin van Persie.