Braga defeat Bratislava to top Europa League Group K

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-13 16:22:35|Editor: Xiaoxia
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BRATISLAVA, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Sporting Braga topped Group K of the 2019-20 UEFA Europa League after a 4-2 away win in their final group match against Slovan Bratislava on Thursday.

The win enabled the Portuguese club to top the standings with 14 points, one ahead of Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers, who join Braga in the tournament's knockout stages. Bratislava ended their Europa League journey in third place with only four points earned, while Turkish side Besiktas finished bottom.

Bratislava's top scorer Andraz Sporar, who has attracted interest from clubs abroad, proved his quality once again, opening the score late in the first half from Erik Daniel's long pass. However, Rui Fonte silenced the home crowd with a well-placed header from a corner kick just two minutes later, making it 1-1 at half-time.

Undaunted, Bratislava took the lead again in the 72nd minute after Moha's great individual effort. But Braga once again equalized shortly afterwards, when Francisco Trincao was left unchallenged in the penalty box and sent a low shot beyond Dominik Greif.

After that, luck deserted the team from Slovakia's capital, and Vasil Bozhikov's own goal put the visitors into the lead for the first time. Bratislava poured forward in search of an equalizer but it was the Portuguese team who had the final say in extra-time, when substitute Paulinho headed in a beautiful lob from Fransergio.

In Group K's other match on Thursday, Wolves crushed Besiktas 4-0, with Portuguese forward Diogo Jota finishing the night with a tremendous hat-trick, scoring three goals within 11 second-half minutes.