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Tuesday, 12 February 2013 08:38

Paços march on

Braga 2-3 Paços de Ferreira

braga-pacos-20130111.jpgPaços de Ferreira continued their remarkable season with a 3-2 victory at Braga last night. The victory puts the Castores four points clear in 3rd place in the table. Should they hold onto that position, Paços will be competing in next season's Champions League.

The visitors went into the game on the back of six victories in their last seven Liga matches, and only two league defeats all season - to Benfica and FC Porto.

The supreme confidence running through Paulo Fonseca's side was evident as three wonderfully constructed goals put Paços three goals up by the 50th minute. Two clinical finishes from Hurtado in the first half and Cícero after the break, all from headers, set up the win.

Braga reacted well to the seemingly hopeless situation, and goals from Salino and Éder put the Arsenalistas right back in it with 25 minutes left to play.

But Paços held on, much to the relief of their travelling supporters, who had to take refuge in a corner of the stadium in the first half after their section was invaded by some Braga fans who took exception to their celebrations.

Fonseca proud

Paulo Fonseca was naturally delighted with the result. "I'm extremely proud of my players. We fully deserved the victory given what we did on the pitch. A word of appreciation for our supporters as well, who had some difficult moments. This win is for them," said the Paços coach.

The full time whistle also saw the home supporters waving white handkerchiefs and chants calling for Braga coach José Peseiro's removal from his position. But president António Salvador categorically stated there would be no change in the dugout.

"I can guarantee José Peseiro will be staying in his position until the end of the championship. It's obviously a bad result, but I believe in these players and in this coach and I believe we will achieve our objective of finishing the season in 3rd place."

Quim, Salino, Sasso (Hélder Barbosa), Paulo Vinícius, Ismaily, Custódio, Hugo Viana, Alan, Mossoró, João Pedro (Zé Luís), Éder

Paços de Ferreira:
Cássio, Tony, Ricardo, Tiago Valente, Diogo Figueiras, Luiz Carlos, Filipe Anunciação, Vítor, Hurtado, Cícero (Cohene), Josué (Manuel José)

[0-1] Hurtado, 16'
[0-2] Hurtado, 37'
[0-3] Cícero, 50'
[1-3] Salino, 55'
[2-3] Éder, 63'

by Tom Kundert

Comments (11)
I agree
11 Thursday, 14 February 2013 11:42
Mdot, we are in agreement.

In regards to them blowing it, the odds are that management will see CL has a way for them to cash in and fill their own pockets.
I remember when Guimaraes finished third and not too long ago, they stole 9 mil for Bebe recently. Yet their finances were in shambles, right after that.
Certain teams I have no pity for. Guimaraes is lucky enough to have a somewhat loyal fan base which is rare in Portugal. Yet they have failed to capatilized on that. And by that I mean just being consistent.
I may be harsh towards Braga, but I am afraid that they are squandering this run they've been on. Hopefully I'm wrong.
10 Wednesday, 13 February 2013 18:36
I agree that the odds of success are slim, and I agree even more that their biggest issue is the amount of loan players they have. When they went to league cup final a couple of years ago and had a good season by their standards, they got next to nothing as most of their good player were loans which just went back to their home club.

However if they do take that CL spot, this summer they will have the ability to spend just a little extra knowing they will get money from just being in the playoff round. In addition when they are shopping around for talent in the summer, any player that would be going to a Portuguese club (outside of the big 3) would have Pacos on their list as the team to join because they will have an opportunity to play in the biggest tournament. Every prospect’s dream is to just get a shot to show off their talent at that level which the hopes they will impress the likes of a top CL club.

For now they have a good team and I fully expect that most of these guys will try to move on to better things as soon as the season is done, it will be up to the management of the club to sign the right parts, hopefully get a bit of luck and likely loss any good talent in the following winter transfer. The difference will be if by next season they have their own players vs. loan players and if they are making some profits of those players to allow them to continue to invest in new talent and grow the club. It also wouldn’t shock me if I hear that their management completely screws things up, blows the cash, can’t pay players, and they are back in the second division in a couple of years. For now I’ll just hope for the best.
Reality isn't always pretty
9 Wednesday, 13 February 2013 13:29
Mdot, I agree that it would be great for the league and clubs if there were multiple clubs competing for CL play. Even if we had a Top 2, but still had two or three clubs competing for that last spot would be great. As per example if Sporting had kept their part of the bargain and were up top with Braga and Pacos vying for that spot, it would of been great.
Sporting has the sponsorship deals that should allow them to put that additional CL money to good use and compete in qualifiers. Braga's recent success should allow them to do the same. Granted, good vision and management is necessary.
The problem with Pacos is that they are living in a different world. They survive by loaning out and in players, to go along with free transfers. They would sell any of their players if they could get decent money for them, even with CL looming. Players would also want to go for higher wages. Would you be shocked if manager also moved on to better offer, to let's say Sporting? Even in that mess, he would go.
All I'm saying is that Pacos would be better served in Europa. If they faltered in CL qualifier or playoff, and if one of the Big 2 get bounced out of CL, it would really be harmful for the league.
Everyone loves a Cinderela story, including me. I just try to see the big picture, where its not always pretty. That doesn't mean I won't root for them.

By the way, I am a fan of Atletico in Liga de Honra, and was really hoping they would have gotten promoted last season. Even though it might of not been the best thing for league.
Exciting year
8 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 20:40
torpiano - lol, i saw her waving that flag, you know it's over for you as a manager when you lose her support lol.

When you look at how tight the title race is, then throw in the unexpected 3 way race for the CL with Pacos, Braga, and Rio Ave.

Looking at the EL you have Estoril having a fantastic first year back in the top flight followed up by Maritimo, Vitoria, and Academica all looking to see European footie again.

At the relegation level you have one hell of a dog fight from 10th to 16th spot only having a 5 point gap. Every club has something to be fighting for and depending on how the next few weeks pass by we may see a new set of clubs fighting for the EL vs. relegation. Exciting stuff at all levels making every match worth watching and I hope it results in more revenue in terms of ticket sales and tv viewers.

On a side note, I’m sick of the comments that if X team goes through it’s bad for Portugal. People used to say it would be bad for Portugal if Braga went to the CL but it has resulted in Braga having some extra financial backing to stay competitive and continue to try to build on their success. While I agree that the likelihood of Pacos doing well in the CL is very low but just making the playoff rounds will give them over 2million in cash, if they luck out and make the group stage that could be 10million extra in cash, heck if they fail in the CL playoffs they go to the EL group stage which could potentially get them another 2million and maybe a knockout stage run.

At the end of the day, I think this is very healthy for our liga to have some of the mid-table teams actually get a chance at a big European tournament. The cash can be used to make their club stronger to help their odds of building on their current success and the excitement of making it to that level for these clubs can draw out some extra fans and dollars. As great at it would be to see Portugal grow and have 4CL spots, I think that unrealistic. I think if we continue to have Benfica and Porto make some good runs, throw in the odd good run by either Braga or Sporting, and we can have other mid-table clubs get a shot (and likely fail) at these tournaments and still keep our 3 CL spots. The countries below that have 2 spots aren’t extreme powerhouses in Europe, the only one that’s a big thread is Russia since they their clubs keep trying to spend their way to success.
Excellent encounter
7 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 19:23
This was an outstanding match. Pacos were very solid if not spectacular, lethal on the counter attack. They earned the win and deserve their current standing. However to me Braga are clearly a better squad, for the most part. For one thing they had their own fans against them. All that damn whistling, i thought my speakers were going to blow. How do they expect their players to be in top form with that kind of "support". Eder and Joao Pedro were electrifying. Custodio was more lively in the second half with some nice chance creating passes. Sorry to say Alan looked old and lacking pace, shooting far over or losing possession with seemingly every touch. He should have been substituted rather than joao Pedro and sooner. Once Pedro was out of the match, the Portuguese Arsenal no longer looked anywhere near as threatening. Not sure where Braga got the idea that Quim is a better option than Beto. He was poor, but again was subject to harsh whistles after letting the first goal in. In truth, Eder should have taken this game by the scruff of the neck and finished at least one more of his chances. Nevertheless, his prowess belongs in Bento's first XI. Pacos will need to buy some talent if they hold on to third and want to escape the CL qualifying rounds. Cassio josue, and Hurtado stood out as the top performers for them. Nevertheless, I believe os arsenalistas will reclaim third by the conclusion of the season.
4 Points Up
6 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 18:53
Another fantastic team display from Pacos, another round of selfish, terrible finishing from Braga.

Mossoro should of done better and Eder could have had 3 goals.

Once again the reason Pacos is the better side is they defend-attack as a TEAM, watch their goals. On both Hurtado goals the passer could have taken the low percentage shot but chose to pass for the sure goal, that is the difference between these sides.

I am with Chris, this Braga team is poor, Salino is horrendous at the back, their midfield gives the ball away too much and their best players (imo) dont get the ball enough, Eder and Alan.

How about the classless fans put the pressure on who deserves it, the Braga players!!
Braga doesn't deserve the champions league
5 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 18:14
As Chris mentioned, Pacos Ferreira certianly are a "well-oiled machine". Paulo Fonseca has done a remarkable job with such limited resources. On paper, Pacos Ferreira really isn't packed with individually brilliant players. Fonseca has managed to get the very best out of every single player, thus enabling them to outclass teams who theoretically have "better" players. Pacos defend as a team, press as a team, and attack as a team. Each and every player knows how to excecute their individual roles to perfection.

Look at Vitor. He isn't the flashiest, most technically gifted player in the Liga. He isn't a powerful physical presence, and he isn't blessed with exceptional athleticism. Neverthelss, he works tirelessly on and off the ball, pressing opposition midfielders, making tackles, dictating play, making runs from midfield, linking up with teammates, and scoring goals. For me, he is the heartbeat of this Pacos side, and just the type of player who can thrive under Fonseca's team-first philosophy.

Braga on the other hand may be more entertaining to watch under Peseiro, but their signiture disciplined defense is nowhere to be found. Quim is slightly less erratic than Beto, but is still not a significant upgrade. Other than Douglao, I can't really think of any competent defenders on the entire squad. The likes of Vinicius, Nuno Andre Coelho, Hass, and Sasso are far cries from the likes of Alberto Rodriguez, Moises, and Paulao.

Both fullback positions are also weak defensively. Salino can be excellent going forward, but is a real liability defensively. He is a midfielder by trade, so you can't really fault him for not being the greatest defender. Even Ismaily, if I recall correctly, isn't a natural left-back. I'm pretty sure that he prefers to play as a winger.

It really is a shame that Braga's defense is this weak because with better defenders (or a more defense-oriented coach) Braga could have held on to their leads against Man United, propelling them into the round of 16.
Mrs Braga wasn't happy!!
4 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:15
She got her white handkerchief out for this one, so Braga must have played poorly.

I'm sure you've all seen her -

stupid stupid stupid
3 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 16:47
can i just say all clubs in every country have some really stupid fans. i dont care if yall support moreirense braga benfica sporting or portoo they all do stupid things. the actions of braga fans towards p.ferriera fans yesterday was so stupid and unesscary.
Pacos-the giant killers
2 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 14:41
Wanted to catch this game when I got home from work, but best I could do was see the highlights of all the goals. Looked like a cracker of a match.

Pacos is playing some beautiful football. All 3 goals were brilliant for them, and really exposed the poor defensive coverage of Salino and Ismailly which has been a problem all year. Although, Salino's goal was quite nice as well. And it was good to see Eder continue on his goal-scoring run.

NJ, not sure if I agree with you. This version of Braga has been poor, so I wouldn't necessarily mind a solid team like Pacos make the Champions if only to see what they can do. I actually think it would be brilliant to see a well-oiled machine like this team, with no real stars or massive egos take on some of the big boys. I don't think they would do that badly.

Where I do agree with you is about the absolutely disgraceful display shown by Braga fans. That was disgusting. We really should have our FPF members take a trip up to Germany to learn from them how they stamped this garbage out of the game, and to copy their format in making fans feel safe and increasing attendances. Surely we can do better than this!
1 Tuesday, 12 February 2013 13:11
Unbelievable. After a disappointing weekend from the Big 3, Braga goes and drops the most important points of all. If Braga is unable to earn a CL spot and reach the group stages Portugal could find itself closer to losing a CL spot once again. That will not be good for the league.
I'm shocked yet happy to see Braga keep the manager. This should allow for him to refocus squad and get them going. CL qualification should be their only priority. That being said, should Braga lose the next one, I think he'll be gone.

All hail P Ferreira. Amazing run they've been on. Similar to Guimaraes a few years back when they edged out Benfica for third. I don't know if they have the horses to continue this pace.
I'm also concerned about them being able to maintain squad and/or improve. The CL qualifiers have become much harder, so it will very hard for them to advance.
It's a great story, but for selfish reasons I would prefer to see a more experienced Braga make the CL.

Lastly, I hope that Braga gets a substantial fine and has to play in an empty stadium for their next hone game. I don't care who they face.
That fan behavior can not be tolerated. How is the league suppose to increase attendance, more families, when this goes on.
The fan who threw the bottle at Nacional should be banned for life and arrested.
This goes for every team. Any fan of the Big 3 that throws anything, especially golf balls, should be banned for life and arrested. The clubs should also incur heavy fines and forced to play dark matches. Hence losing further revenue.

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