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03 Mar 2019
SC Braga Mundialito de Clubes champions!
National, European and now Mundialito champions…SC Braga just don’t stop winning trophies!
It was by no means an easy ride, but SC Braga have added yet another trophy to their cabinet, and the kings of Europe become kings of the world.
BSC Spartak fell to CR Flamengo in a tight play-off for third place, and the hosts finish the first Mundialito de Clubes to be held outside of Brazil, in fourth place.
This is how the title was won and lost…
Domusbet Catania 6-7 SC Braga (FINAL)
The moment had come. The match that all eight teams had been hoping to play a part in, but, inevitably, only two could. SC Braga had won every game up until this point, whereas just one win out of three was enough for Catania to qualify for the semi-finals where they saw off their hosts after penalties.
In terms of form, Braga had the upper hand, but in a final, anything can happen…
It took just 20 seconds for the score to be opened, when Leo Martins jumped to swing a foot at a throw-in, volleying past Sydorenko in emphatic style. An early blow didn’t seem to faze Domusbet Catania, as just a minute later, Sydorenko had his revenge when a deflected long shot made the Braga net ripple and the teams were level once more.
In an action-packed opening minute or so, Jordan then struck a fine free-kick to hand Braga the advantage once more and then, in a bizarre set of events, yesterday’s penalty shoot-out hero, Gentilin, lost control of a weak Be Martins shot to practically walk it into his own net.
Things went from bad to worse for Catania, as a cheeky Leo Martins backheel saw Antonio Torres’ men extend the lead to 1-4. Late in the first period Bryshtel had the chance to bring Catania back to just two behind from the penalty spot but Rafael Padilha read his intentions and kept the shot out, just in time for the first klaxon to sound.
With a comfortable lead, Braga entered the second period full of confidence. However, it was Catania who found the net first, when Bryshtel made up for his earlier penalty miss by intercepting a throw from Padilha to hit a first time shot past the bewildered goalkeeper.
Then Lucao cut the deficit to just one goal with a diving header at the far post, scoring his 12th goal of the tournament. Bokinha converted a free-kick to resotre the Braga lead but Catania were proving hard to shake off for the European and Portuguese champions.
Be Martins had the chance to make it six when he rounded the keeper to face an open net, but Bokach threw himself in front of the shot, blocking the shot with his chest as Sydorenko breathed a sign of relief.
Gentilin made amends for his earlier own goal by scoring a free-kick, but his joy was short lived as Bruno Xavier powered in an unstoppable effort directly from the kick off. At 4-6, the two-goal cushion remained intact as the second whistle went.
There were just 12 minutes left for Catania to catch up with the Portuguese rivals, and it took six for the Italian side to score, as a Bokach shot made Braga’s slim advantage even slimmer.
No sooner had Filipe restored the two-goal lead, then Zurlo netted a sublime volley. It was only the acrobatics of Padilha that kept Braga in front pulling off the save of the tournament with just 30 seconds on the clock.
The slender advantage remained intact as the final whistle blew and SC Braga threw their arms in the air – another trophy in the bag.
After the initial celebrations it was time for the awards ceremonies. SC Braga players Be Martins and Rafael Padilha picked up the individual awards for MVP and Best Goalkeeper, while Domusbet Catania’s Lucao accepted the award for Top Scorer with 12 goals.
Portugal, Europe and now the world, who will stop SC Braga?
Goals: 0-1: Leo Martins, min. 11 (1); 1-1: Sydorenko, min. 10 (1); 1-2: Jordan, min. 10 (1); 1-3: Gentilin (OG), min. 9 (1); 1-4: Leo Martins, min. 5 (1); 2-4: Bryshtel, min. 10 (2); 3-4: Lucao, min. 6 (2); 3-5: Bokinha, min. 5 (2); 4-5: Gentilin, min. 0 (2); 4-6: Bruno Xavier, min. 0 (2); 5-6: Bokach, min. 5 (3); 5-7: Filipe, min. 3 (3); 6-7: Zurlo, min. 3 (3);
BSC Spartak 3-4 CR Flamengo (3rd-Place Play-Off)
Their painful exit from the Mundialito de Clubes on penalties yesterday behind them, hosts BSC Spartak went into today’s third-place play-off keen to secure the best finishing position they could, against a Brazilian Flamengo side who had been brushed aside in their semi-final tie against SC Braga.
It was the hosts who got the match up and running, when an overhead cross to Pavlenko saw him slot into an all-but empty net. Spartak threatened to double the lead on several occasions but failed to make the most of the period of superior play.
When the teams had met on the first day of the group stages, it had been a close affair with Spartak just taking the three points with a slender 2-1 win, and it looked as if this match might see a similarly low number of goals, as the second period began and stretched on with just the single goal separating the sides.
It wasn’t until the closing stages of the second half that the next goal came, and it was a signature Andrade long shot, as the Portuguese goalkeeper equalised for Flamengo. Just a few minutes later Gustavo rifled in a free-kick to hand the Brazilian side the lead.
For the first time, the hosts were on the backfoot. Thanger smashed a dangerous warning shot against the cross-bar before the second whistle, but Spartak went into the break trailing.
Piu scored a third as his overhead bounced awkwardly on the sand to elude goalkeeper Bazhenov. But just it looked as if the hosts might lose control of the match totally, Makarov showed immense strength to beat his marker to the ball and head in a second for Mikhail Likhachev’s men.
There was only one goal in it once more, however, this was short lived as Roman Pachev fired in a bicycle kick to make it 2-4 with just a minute on the clock. There was time for one more twist though, as Andrade fumbled a powerful Thanger shot which Anton Shkarin was then on hand to pounce on and cut the deficit to one yet again.
Despite the late drama the time ran out for Spartak, who end the tournament in fourth place, as Flamengo take up third.
Goals: 1-0: Pavlenko, min. 9 (1); 1-1: Andrade, min. 5 (2); 1-2: Gustavo, min. 3 (2); 1-3: Piu, min. 8 (3); 2-3: Makarov, min. 8 (3); 2-4: Pachev, min. 1 (3); 3-4: Shkarin, min. 0 (3);