Ruben Micael’s first half goal and a fine injury-time effort from Alan were enough to give Braga a 2-0 victory in Istanbul and leave Galatasaray bottom of Group H.
The victory for the Portuguese outfit came despite only enjoying 39 per cent possession as the Turkish giants slumped to a second defeat in two European matches, and back-to-back losses after a going down 2-0 to Orduspor at the weekend.
In their opening Champions League outing last month Braga had 23 shots on goal without scoring. Tonight they showed they’ve learnt from that experience, making the most of the paltry number of chances they created.
Initially it had seemed that the hosts would have an easy evening. But they soon ran out of energy and, when Micael tapped in after Fernando Muslera could only parry from Eder, Galatasaray seemed to visibly fade.
Their large support, so vocal before kick-off, responded with whistles. Eder nearly doubled that advantage after a Paulo Vinicius header was only half cleared as Braga continued to threaten on the counter attack.
Galatasaray’s best hope of a response seemed to lie with half-time substitute Aydin Yilmaz. The number seven got in great positions, without ever producing the kind of finish required to defeat Beto.
The Braga keeper spectacularly pushed away one floated effort from Yilmaz, but that was about as close as they got to a leveller.
With the final whistle about to sound Galatasaray’s impotence was punished again. Eder evaded the offside trap on the left flank and looked up to spot Alan in the box.
Appeals for a flag went unanswered and, when the perfect cross was converted by Alan, the disappointed stadium rapidly emptied.
The win for the visitors – their third in Turkey from three attempts – means they will be confident ahead of consecutive encounters with Manchester United.
For pointless Galatasaray, Group H is already looking like a real struggle.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Eder (Braga): The inspiration behind Braga's attacking play, he made both goals.
Galatasaray: Muslera 7, Nounkeu 6, Semih Kaya 5, Eboué 6, Selçuk Änan 5, Felipe Melo 5, Riera 5, Emre Çolak 5, Amrabat 4, Burak Yilmaz 5, Umut Bulut 5. Subs: Aydin Yilmaz 6, Kurtulus 6, Elmander 5.
Braga: Beto 8, Paulo Vinicius 6, Douglão 7, Ruben Amorim 8, Rúben Micael 8, Leandro Salino 8, Custódio 6, Alan 7, Hugo Viana 6, Éder 9. Subs: Nuno André Coelho 6, Djamal 6, Hélder Barbosa 6.
- Sports & Recreation