Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Portugal February 2010

Aliados de Lordelo 2 Vizela 0

A Saturday afternoon fixture in the Divisao 2 Norte. Lordelo was a 40 minute drive from my base in Braga and it is a small place with a ground up above the town with views across the valley.

The ground itself comprises just one side for spectators with an old, unused, stand at the rear.

The home side completed the win with a header and a volley though Vizela should have got at least one goal back.

Leixoes 0 Porto 0

Not too far away is Matosinhos to the north of Porto.

The babies, Leixoes, had a very good time last season eventually finishing sixth but this year has been harder for them. Hence it was possible to get odds of around 8 to 1 for them to win this 'derbi'.

Though Porto, without Hulk, had most of the play they failed to create many chances. The speedy Varela had the best opportunity but the Leixoes goalie made the save.

Some 7,000 watched including a reasonable number from Porto.

Trofense 0 Feirense 2

This was the early Sunday morning match in the Liga Vitalis (2nd level)

Trofa is an easy drive from Braga - I took the slower, N14, route.

Their ground is neat enough with smallish side stands and larger ends. There didn't seem to be any away fans amongst the 700 or so present.

Feirense deserved the win secured by two similar headers from free kicks both nodded home by Roberto.

Sporting Braga 2 Maritimo 1

Lastly to the Municipal or AXA stadium in Braga.

Built for the 2004 Euros it is well known for its construction being carved out of rocks from an old quarry. Impressive as it is it was maybe not the cosiest stadium to visit on a bitterly cold February evening.

But a full house of over 30,000 came to see their heroes overcome a spirited effort from Maritimo who included the memorably named Pitbull in their team.

The home side kept close to Benfica at the top of the Portuguese league with a late goal swept in by Luis Aguilar prompting plenty of celebrations.

Earlier Meyong had converted a cross for Braga to take the lead before the Angolan Djalma had stunned the home fans with a great equaliser.

It took a brisk walk back to my hotel and some wine (and steak) before I warmed up.

An observation about the football in general - too many players screaming when they are fouled
and about travelling around - lots of bad driving - because there are so few police/speed traps.

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