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Europa League

St Andrews Stadium (ATT 21,747) 15th September 2011 - Kick off 20:05 Ref: Deniz Aytekin

Birmingham Birmingham City vs Braga Braga

Birmingham 1

M King (71)

ft

Braga 3

H Barbosa (6, 88)
R Lima (59)

Barbosa brace beats Blues

King nets consolation as Barbosa and Lima score for Braga

Last Updated: 15/09/11 10:35pm

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Helder Barbosa scored twice as Birmingham City slipped to a 3-1 home defeat to Braga in their Europa League Group H opener at St Andrews.

Barbosa's goals early in the game and again late on sunk the Blues after Marlon King had offered up hope following a controversial effort from Lima that gave the visitors a 2-0 lead.

Blues boss Chris Hughton made six changes for the game from Saturday's 3-0 Championship win over Millwall and it was always going to be a tough opener for the Carling Cup winners, although they should have been up and running inside four minutes.

Charging down the right wing, King laid off the perfect pass for Adam Rooney, another of Hughton's summer signings, the 23-year-old plucked from Inverness Caley Thistle.

Remarkably, when a sweeping effort with his right foot appeared on the cards, Rooney instead snatched at it with his left, side-footing a gilt-edged chance into the side-netting.

There was a high price to pay for the miss because within 90 seconds Braga had opened the scoring in stunning fashion.

Thundered

From the left, Helderson flicked in a curling cross to the edge of the area where Barbosa thundered a 20-yard left-footed volley beyond Boaz Myhill.

If there was nothing Myhill could do about that effort, the Blues goalkeeper conjured a superb save shortly after to effectively keep his side in the game.

Myhill was at full stretch in tipping a 25-yard free-kick around his right-hand post from former £8.5million Newcastle star Hugo Viana.

At that stage Braga threatened to walk away with the game, but Blues remained true to their task, and instead produced two chances of their own to suggest they should have been level at the break.

The first was relatively comfortable enough for Quim to deal with, for although Nathan Redmond's right-footed shot had pace and curl, it was at a safe height for the veteran goalkeeper to fist clear.

Then in the 21st minute Rooney was inches away again, flicking over the crossbar a left-wing free-kick from Wade Elliott.

For the remainder of the half and for almost the first 15 minutes of the second, the game had little to commend it as it was scrappy and with any moves continually breaking down in the final third.

Dubious second

That was until the 59th minute when Braga grabbed their dubious second.

From the left wing, Elderson delivered a piercing cross into the area for Nuno Gomes, with Lima at that stage a good yard offside, although not interfering with play.

The ball, however, fell fortuitously into his path and he needed no second invitation to lash a 10-yard half-volley into the roof of the net.

Hughton made an immediate double substitution, bringing on Burke and Wood, the latter playing a pivotal role in giving City hope.

Minutes after Myhill had made another oustanding fingertip save to deny Lima, Burke produced an angled run and low pull back into the six-yard box for King to tap home into an empty net.

Redmond forced a stunning save from Quim and David Murphy lofted a 20-yard free-kick over the bar before Braga hit City on the counter three minutes from time to seal the points, with Barbosa firing a low pass from substitute Carlos Silva into the roof of the net.

Birmingham CityTeam StatisticsSporting Braga
1Goals3
01st Half Goals1
3Shots on Target8
8Shots off Target2
5Blocked Shots4
3Corners6
20Fouls14
1Offsides9
2Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
75.8Passing Success81.4
9Tackles15
77.8Tackles Success73.3
46.8Possession53.2
52.8Territorial Advantage47.2

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Matches

  • Europa League

    Thu 15th Sep - Group A
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    • Shamrock
      0 - 3
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group B
    • Hannover
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    • FC Cop'hagen
      1 - 0
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group C
    • Hap Tel-Aviv
      0 - 1
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      1 - 0
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group D
    Thu 15th Sep - Group E
    • Dynamo Kiev
      1 - 1
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    • Besiktas
      5 - 1
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group F
    Thu 15th Sep - Group G
    • AZ Alkmaar
      4 - 1
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    • Austria Vienna
      1 - 2
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group H
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      2 - 0
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    • Birmingham
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group I
    Thu 15th Sep - Group J
    • Maccabi Haifa
      1 - 0
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    • S Bucuresti
      0 - 0
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group K
    • Wisla Krakow
      1 - 3
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    • Fulham
      1 - 1
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    Thu 15th Sep - Group L
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Tables

Europa League Group A

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Valencia 6 13
2 Swansea City 6 8
3 Kuban 6 6
4 St Gallen 6 6

Europa League Group B

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ludogorets 6 16
2 Chernomorets Odessa 6 10
3 PSV Eindhoven 6 7
4 Dinamo Zagreb 6 1

Europa League Group C

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Red Bull Salzburg 6 18
2 Esbjerg 6 12
3 IF Elfsborg 6 4
4 Standard Liege 6 1

Europa League Group D

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Rubin Kazan 6 14
2 Maribor 6 7
3 Zulte-Waregem 6 7
4 Wigan Athletic 6 5

Europa League Group E

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Fiorentina 6 16
2 Dnipro 6 12
3 Pacos Ferreira 6 3
4 Pandurii Targu-Jiu 6 2

Europa League Group F

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Eintracht Frankfurt 6 15
2 Maccabi Tel Aviv 6 11
3 Apoel Nicosia 6 5
4 Bordeaux 6 3

Europa League Group G

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Genk 6 14
2 Dynamo Kiev 6 10
3 Rapid Vienna 6 6
4 FC Thun 6 3

Europa League Group H

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Sevilla 6 12
2 Slovan Liberec 6 9
3 SC Freiburg 6 6
4 Estoril 6 3

Europa League Group I

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Lyon 6 12
2 Real Betis 6 9
3 Vitoria de Guimaraes 6 5
4 Rijeka 6 4

Europa League Group J

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Trabzonspor 6 14
2 Lazio 6 12
3 Apollon Limassol 6 4
4 Legia Warsaw 6 3

Europa League Group K

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 6 18
2 Anzhi Makhachkala 6 8
3 Sheriff Tiraspol (Mol) 6 6
4 Tromso 6 1

Europa League Group L

Europa League
Pos Team P Pts
1 AZ Alkmaar 6 12
2 PAOK Salonika 6 12
3 Maccabi Haifa (Isr) 6 5
4 Shakhtyor Karaganda 6 2

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