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Sevilla's Champions League Loss Is Proof of Level Playing Field

Iker CasillasLast year we witnessed CSKA Moskow making it all the way to the quarterfinals unexpectedly, this season the Cinderella team might just go by the name Braga. The Portugal side pulled off a surprising upset of last season’s fourth place La Liga side and Luis Fabiano and company have already been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League tournament despite making it all the way to the final sixteen spots last season.

Sevilla entered the second match of the two match aggregate competition down 1-0 and considering they had home field advantage for the second leg, few critics thought that they might not make the Champions League group draw stage of the event. But Braga would outlast the strong La Liga side with a 4-3 away victory over the strong club and would take the two match aggregate by a comfortable 5-3 two goal margin of victory.

It would be a game of catch-up for the frustrated Spanish side that would go down two early goals to make the overall deficit 3-0 heading into halftime. Fabiano would score in the 60th minute giving a dim ray of hope for the top four team from last year and Jesus Navas would make the match interesting with an equaliser in the 84th minute, but Braga forward and Man of the Match Lima would score twice in the last five minutes of action and secure a hat trick in the process for his underdog side.

Frederic Kanoute’s extra time effort would have no significance on the final score and Braga would hold on for the surprising 4-3 victory and 5-3 aggregate victory. That leaves only Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Valencia as the three remaining Champions League clubs this season for La Liga clubs and Sevilla will now have to focus their effort on defending the Coppa Del Rey title which they won last season.  

Creative Commons License photo credit: Alfonso Jiménez