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Braga beat Wednesday

16 July 2013

Martin Taylor posted his second pre-season goal but it was not enough to prevent the Owls going down 3-1 to Portugese top tier side Braga in Albufeira on Tuesday.

Taylor was on target during the Owls’ 3-0 win over Stockport last week and promptly scored again to put Wednesday in front.

But Braga hit back with two goals in as many minutes just before half time and added a third after the break to take the plaudits.

With both sides intent on keeping the ball on the deck, the opening throes were pleasing on the eye if unproductive in the final third.

But just past the quarter-hour mark, the friendly clash exploded into life as the Owls ultimately opened the scoring.

First Gary Madine appeared to be upended right on the edge of the area by Rubenticro but with Wednesday claiming a penalty, both the referee and his assistant waved the appeals away.

Moments later, Giles Coke swung a teasing corner into the mix and Taylor’s header looked goalbound but the ball bounced off the inside of the far post and back into play. 

Liam Palmer’s effort from the rebound seemed over the line before Eduardo scooped clear but again there was no joy for Wednesday from the officials.

But Taylor was not to be denied and on 19 minutes put the Owls ahead.

Joe Mattock struck an angled free kick into the danger zone and the big centre half was on hand to head firmly past Eduardo in the Braga goal.

The Portugal side responded with threatening breaks down the right but the Wednesday defence held firm to keep Braga at bay.

Braga had a great chance on 30 minutes when Custodio was set to pull the trigger from ten yards but David Prutton produced a last-ditch challenge to thwart the hosts.

Just as the Owls seemed to be going into half time in the ascendancy, Braga hit a double whammy to turn the game on its head.

On 43 minutes, Adinho finished a smart set piece from Rubentrico’s corner, then right on half time Pardo slammed into the roof of the net after Saladic nicked the ball in questionable fashion from Mattock and pulled back for the finish.

Braga changed almost their whole side for the second period and the tempo of the game perhaps suffered as a result.

For their part, the Owls brought on six substitutes, but it was Braga who had the edge and they sealed the win on 74 minutes.

Baiano found space down the right to send a delicious ball into the path of the onrushing Joao Pedro, who made no mistake from close range.

Owls: Kirkland, Palmer, Mattock (Floro 69), Prutton (McCabe 62), Taylor, Zayatte (Llera 85), Grossinger (Corry 82), Coke (Semedo 62), Madine, J Johnson (Maguire 69), Helan

Unused substitutes: Davies, Gardner

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