SPORTS

The goal machine can sign off in style

TAGs: Braga, Porto, Soccer, UEFA Europa League

Porto striker FalcaoEuropean football supporters are used to seeing encounters between teams from the same nation in continental competition. You only have to go back over the last month to see what the finest teams that both Spain and England have to offer took to the field with the better side prevailing in both clashes.

Portugal is perhaps not the first place you look when compiling a list of the best clubs sides Europe has to offer. Seeing as two of them contest the UEFA Europa League final then you may be right. One of the two sides can lay realistic claims to being amongst the top eight sides in the entire continent.

Porto frog marched their domestic title out of the doors of the Portuguese FA a long while back and did so without losing a game all season. In total, they’ve scored 138 goals in all competitions and that’s a big reason that they find themselves in tonight’s Dublin showpiece. An average of 2.69 a game in the competition has seen them score five goals in three of their last four games. Falcao’s insatiable appetite for goals has meant the Colombian scoring 17 in 15 Europa League games. Impressive. Braga’s stubborn defence should not be underestimated though.

The stingiest of back lines has given up only 0.5 goals per game in the competition. The other end is where they’ll have problems though. Scoring only 0.75 per game has meant plenty of 1-0 wins at home and hanging on in away legs for a goalless draw. There’s no home leg to save them tonight.

In European finals, anything can happen. The stars on display in Porto’s line-up are likely to prove too much in what will likely be the last game they are assembled as one ahead of the summer sales.

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