Saturday, May 21, 2011
UEFA Europa Cup Final 2011
Europa League Final 2011 in Dublin.
Sporting Braga 0 Porto 1.
Played at the redeveloped Lansdowne Road stadium the second Europa League final was contested by two Portuguese teams.
Not the two most people had hoped for as Benfica v Porto would probably been a better encounter and definitely a superior atmosphere.
And not only that as the city was also hosting the first visit of the queen to Ireland it meant getting around the central area was a trial due to the extensive security.
Personally it meant considerable extra walking as the operation of the luas (tram) was suspended on two occasions when I was on it.
Around the ground there were plenty of opportunities to buy tickets and numerous spare seats inside the stadium.
Which looked impressive enough in green except for the very small area behind one of the goals.
The Porto fans outnumbered their fellow countrymen and their team were favourites to win the trophy.
In the end they did with a header from leading scorer Falcao just before half time.
Braga’s best chance, just after the break, fell to substitute Mossoro whose shot was well saved by Helton.
As might have been predicted it was a game of few chances very occasionally enhanced by threats from the talented Hulk.
Despite some late Braga pressure Porto (and especially their young coach) had done enough to secure the win
The event, played in breezy cool conditions, could only really be described as 'OK' and the overall Dublin experience was overshadowed by the monarch’s visit.