Sat, Mar 12, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Portuguese sides enjoy Europa wins

EARNING BRAGA-ING RIGHTS:Liverpool missed injured skipper Steven Gerrard and ineligible striker Luis Suarez as they slumped to defeat against Sporting Braga

Reuters, BERNE

Sporting Braga’s Kaka, left, and Hugo Viana, right, challenge as Liverpool’s Andy Carrol shoots during their Europa League match on Thursday in Braga, Portugal.

Photo: EPA

Modest Sporting Braga, who have never won a Portuguese league title, stunned five-time European champions Liverpool 1-0 with a first-half penalty in the Europa League on Thursday.

Two-time European champions Porto won 1-0 at CSKA Moscow in another of the round-of-16 first leg ties and Benfica completed an excellent night for Portugal with a 2-1 win over visiting Paris St Germain.

Andriy Shevchenko set Dynamo Kiev on the way to a 2-0 home win over big-spending Manchester City and wasteful Ajax Amsterdam were beaten 1-0 at home by Spartak Moscow.

Nilmar came off the bench to score twice, including a stoppage-time winner, in Villarreal’s 3-2 triumph at Bayer Leverkusen.

Braga dominated the first half against visitors Liverpool and Alan converted his spot kick in the 18th minute after defender Sotiris Kyrgiakos tripped Brazilian Mossoro.

Manager Kenny Dalglish was angry with Liverpool’s first-half display, during which Silvio also hit the woodwork for Braga.

“The first 35 minutes, we were terrible,” said the Scot, who was without injured captain Steven Gerrard and ineligible forward Luis Suarez. “The penalty summed up the way we were approaching the game. I think at 1-0 we’ve still got a chance, but if we play like we did at the start of the first half at Anfield, we haven’t got any chance.”

CSKA, playing their 11th match in this season’s competition, slumped to their first defeat after a superb effort from Porto’s Fredy Guarin, who turned his marker and scored from 25m in the 70th minute.

In Lisbon, Maxi Pereira and Franco Jara were on target as Benfica came from behind against Paris St Germain, Peguy Luyindula having put the French side ahead.

Shevchenko, 34, looked sharp when he turned in Andriy Yarmolenko’s cross in the 25th minute to put Dynamo Kiev ahead.

Oleh Gusev increased the Ukrainians’ lead 13 minutes from time.

Brazil striker Nilmar came off the bench in the 69th minute for Villarreal at Leverkusen and scored within a minute to put his team 2-1 ahead.

Gonzalo Castro leveled for the Bundesliga team two minutes later, only for Nilmar to break clear in the fourth minute of added time to slot home the winner.

Michal Kadlec had fired Leverkusen ahead with a 30m shot before Giuseppe Rossi replied for Spain’s last survivors as the first-half ended 1-1.

Ajax wasted a host of chances, with Siem de Jong the main culprit, before Alex snatched an opportunist goal for Spartak in the 57th.

Twente Enschede, however, had no trouble thrashing 2008 UEFA Cup winners Zenit St Petersburg in another Dutch-Russian clash, with two goals from Luuk de Jong and one from Denny Landzaat giving them a 3-0 win.

PSV Eindhoven completed a night of mixed fortunes for the Dutch when they were held 0-0 at home by Rangers.

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