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UEFA Europa League
19 May 2011
• Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
• Attendance: 45391
R. Falcao 44'
FULL TIME!!! PORTO ARE EUROPA LEAGUE CHAMPIONS ONCE AGAIN! Artur came forward for one last throw of the dice but his flick on went harmlessly out of play! Porto have completed the treble thanks to Falcao's 45th minute header. Another incredible chapter in the story of a magnificent team. And they could complete the quadruple on Sunday! Thanks for joining us for this final. Stay with Goal.com for all the reactions to Porto's triumph!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Rolando
90' + 2'
A further update from Victor in Dublin: Porto fans resume their rhythmic chanting and drumming which has hardly ceased throughout the game. Villas Boas again points out instructions to his players. Domingos still looks on passively for the most part. Porto fans get louder as they sense that end of game and victory is approaching.
90' + 1'
There will be a minimum of three added minutes at the end of this Europa League final with Braga in desperate need of a goal. However, the latest free-kick proves fruitless as Silvio succeeds in only kicking the air.
Yellow Card Helton
Helton receives a few choice words from Paulao and a booking from the referee as he wastes a few more precious seconds. No indication yet as to how much stoppage time there will be. Paulao now operating as an emergency striker.
Only Artur of the Braga players is now in his own half as he urges his team-mates forward, however, his long punt upfield is cleared by Moutinho. It's route one football from the designated visitors but the momentum grinds to a halt as Paulao is penalised for a stray hand into the face of Otamendi.
Some hope for Braga, who win a corner on the left-hand side. Alan delivers the inswinger, which is hopelessly overhit and an utter waste from the winger. Too often, both sides have been disappointing from dead ball situations.
A wonderful move from Porto encompassing several intricate passes at good pace results in Belluschi letting fly but his shot is the wrong side of the post as Artur scampers across to his left.
Helton comes uncomfortably close to running another risk with his tendency to overplay at the back but he and Rolando escape this time. Moutinho plays the ball out after Hulk stays down despite Villas-Boas instructing the striker to return to his feet.
Belluschi berates himself in frustration as he squanders a decent chance to get the ball into the box having looked to have been offside as he peeled off down the right-hand side.
Silvio offers a glimmer of hope for Braga as he skips past Hulk down the left, however, his cross is a shade too close to Helton, who is decisive in coming off his line to take the ball.
Alvaro Pereira looks for James Rodriguez down the channel but the strong and imposing Paulao utilises his strength and physique and bustles the substitute off the ball.
James Rodriguez tees up Hulk from distance from the subsequent free-kick but as has been the trend tonight, his effort is wayward and ineffective.
Dissent does not go down well with this referee and he has now given a booking to Kaka for his protests after Paulao was rightly fouled for an elbow on Falcao.
Yellow Card Kaká
Belluschi does well to track the run of Massoro down the left. Speaking of substitutes, It is Silvestre Varela who comes off for James Rodriguez, the 19-year old Colombian.
Mossoro is penalised for the umpteenth time as Villas-Boas prepares a second change in the shape of James Rodriguez.
That was the moment for Meyong the substitute who finds himself unmarked in space on the edge of the Porto area but he scuffs his shot completely and though it almost dribbles towards Silvio, Helton is alert and makes the interception.
The official attendance in the Aviva Stadium has just been announced at over 45,000 - not quite a sell out but an impressive turnout nonetheless and Ireland can be proud of the show they have put on.
Villas-Boas has kneeled down almost to ground level as he analyses the action after a rather flat period in the second-half. Falcao looks to make some headway but Kaka does well to snuff out the danger.
Fredy Guarin is sacrificed in the Porto midfield for Fernando Belluschi as Andre Villas-Boas makes a like for like swap in the middle of the park. The Porto fans chant the Colombian's name as he walks off.
The Braga players protest furiously after Sapunaru sends Custodio tumbling but under pressure, the referee correctly decides to produce no card. From the free-kick, Paulao beats Helton to the ball but the imposing centre-half began his run in an offside position.
OHHHHHHHHH Inches away from the second goal were Porto! Hulk floated the cross into the danger zone where Alvaro Pereira found himself but the left-back just, just failed to make contact.
Alan tees up Custodio on the overlap but his low centre is blocked by Alvaro Pereira and Braga win a throw. Garcia launches the ball into the area towards Paulao who cannot capitalise on uncertainty from Rolando and the ball eventually goes out of play. Belluschi about to come on for Porto.
Hulk's corner comes to nothing as it is cleared away before Alvaro Pereira's header forwards is into no man's land. Domingos Paciencia will hope that Meyong has the same positive impact Massoro delivered at the start of the second half.
Massoro's corner is somehow scrambled away before Porto launch a counter, if not at lightning pace. Varela is in plenty of space down the left and he goes through the gears and then wins a corner off Paulao.
Paolo Cesar wins a corner off Alvaro Pereira before Braga make their final change of the evening. Lima makes way for Albert Meyong, the Cameroon international who many foresaw taking his place in the starting line-up tonight.
Varela spots Artur slightly off his line and looks to catch the Braga goalkeeper out with his cross but the Braga goalkeeper backtracks and sees the ball go harmlessly over the crossbar.
Paolo Cesar, who is finding himself frequently down this right flank in the second-half, tries in vain to chase an overhit pass but he is unable to keep the ball in play.
There are a host of "neutral" flags draped around the stadium although the one that has caught the eye the most is that from Bielefeld. I guess one needs something to smile about after a miserable season that has seen the former Bundesliga side relegated from the second tier in Germany!
Paolo Cesar is bundled over in midfield by Alvaro Pereira who was determined not to let the Braga striker pass. From the free-kick, Paolo Cesar is picked out on the right but his errant cross goes behind for a goal-kick. Not the final delivery required in the circumstances. Or in any circumstances for that matter!
Sapunaru feigns to take a long throw but instead it goes short. However, Varela is unable to keep hold of the ball and Garcia wins the battle, though he clears it straight to the opposition. An hour gone and still Porto with the lead thanks to Falcao's header.
Yellow Card Marcio Mossoro
Mossoro does excellently to win the ball off Hulk after a patient Porto had worked the ball from the left to right in large part thanks to Guarin. However, he blots his copybook as he is booked for dissent, having wanted his opposite number Joao Moutinho to have his name taken.
Almost a suicidal gamble from Helton who came rushing out of his penalty box to intercept the through ball. Having accomplished his initial goal, he then is unsure what to do and he scrambles the ball away in a fit of panic.
Hulk settles for a corner but before he takes it, he urges the Porto fans to up the tempo a notch or three. His near post delivery is cleared at the near post by Silvio. Second time around, it is taken to short to Varela, whose cross is easily claimed by Artur.
Alvaro Pereira does rather well to turn two defenders but his through ball eludes the forward run of the energetic Guarin, who has really come into his own in recent times for Porto.
Yellow Card Miguel Garcia
The ball in was aimed at Paolo Cesar who was able to turn inside the box but Lima was unable to capitalise and Porto scramble the ball away before Varela is fouled by Garcia and he is booked for the high foot.
Vandinho's adventurous ball out to the left is wayward and goes out of play much to the disappointment of Paciencia as a more progressive Braga side go in search of an equaliser. They are aided in that cause by the award of a free-kick 40 yards from goal as they send the cavalry forward.
Hulk sees no clear route down the right so he checks back on his left and stands the ball up to the far post where no Porto player is present, allowing Artur to gather. At the other end, Lima gives away a free-kick with a careless foul.
Not for the first time, a player takes a ball in the face as Paolo Cesar is the unwitting victim of Silvio's thumping cross from the left. Massoro makes another run in behind the Porto defence but this time he is flagged for offside.
Braga look to exert pressure from a corner but Mossoro's weak delivery into the near post does not allow them to capitalise on the opportunity. The substitute has certainly been involved in his five minutes on the field already and he is causing Porto's defence problems in open play with his pressing and forward running.
Yellow Card Cristian Sapunaru
Guarin loses out to Paolo Cesar before the Braga attacker is clattered into from behind by Sapunaru, who receives a booking for his indiscretion.
Porto go up the other end and win a corner thanks to Falcao off Garcia. Hulk's outswinger is cleared away by Paulao before the corner taker is flagged for offside.
Unbelievable! Forty seconds into the second half and Massoro is almost the most incredible of supersubs. A lapse in concentration from Rolando allowed Massoro through on goal but his low shot was saved by the outstretched right leg of Helton!
With the substitutions completed. we can resume this final and Braga take their turn to kick us off.
Domingos Paciencia is not messing around with a double change at the break. Mossoro and Kaka are about to enter the fray in place of Alberto Rodriguez and Hugo Viana, who was running the risk of a red card.
Another dispatch from Victor, who gives us his take on the response of the crowd to the dramatic goal at the end of the first period: Huge roar when Falcao scores. The whole stadium alive. Porto flags waved all around the stadium, accompanied by cacophany of singing. Half-time met by great applause. Loads of flag waving and singing. Fans still celebrate as they head off for half-time refreshments.
The half-time whistle blows in Dublin and after a rather lacklustre first-half, Porto have the lead thanks to a Falcao header moments before the end of the opening 45 minutes. Join us in 15 minutes for the resumption. 1-0 Porto.
Braga punished to the full for giving the ball away carelessly. Guarin broke down the right but checked his run to assess the options. The Colombian then picks out his fellow countryman with a delightful cross into the area and Falcao's header leaves Artur helpless. Falcao's 17th goal of the competition - his tally was already an all-time record in the Europa League before tonight!
Assist Fredy Guarín
Goal Radamel Falcao
GOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL PORTOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! And who else but Falcao?! The leading scorer in the competition has given Porto the lead with a wonderful header from Guarin's cross!
Hulk loses out to Garcia before attempting to win the ball back but his sliding challenge from behind is penalised by the referee despite the Brazilian striker pleading his innocence.
Alan has to settle for the throw down the right in the absence of any better options for the talented attacker. Vandinho finds Custodio from the throw and Rolando is across to make the clearing challenge though there was some neat movement there from Braga.
Another hairy moment for Braga at the back as Artur takes his time to clear the goal-kick and his clearances thunders against Falcao, who had his left arm up to protect his face and is thus rather unfairly penalised.
A chorus of boos from the Porto fans as Guarin is penalised for a trip on Paulao after an outrageous back flick forward threatened to open up Braga's defence. Up the other end, Custodio goes for goal but his wayward effort does not trouble Helton.
Lima is ploughing a lone furrow as the sole striker and his evening is not helped by an aimless long punt forward through to Helton. Braga are persisting down the right-hand side but they grind to a halt when Hulk tracks back and wins the ball back for his team.
Sapunaru is unable to reach Guarin's ball out to the right in time and the ball rolls out for a Braga throw-in. Such sloppiness is indicative of Porto's failure to slice the Braga defence open so far but credit to Domingos' side - they are supremely well organised.
Garcia slides in on Varela and he concedes the corner but it was imperative that the Braga man got there to avoid the cross into the danger zone. Hulk delivers the outswinger disappointingly into the arms of Artur.
Outstanding defending from Rodriguez to defuse the situation and win the challenge with Falcao before clearing the ball away from danger. Still, Porto yet to find their best football in this final.
More from Victor: Both coaches staying on their feet within the technical area. The ever-meticulous Villas Boas pointing to his defenders where to position themselves when Braga take a mere throw-in. Paciencia less animated so far. Braga fans finally come to life, booing when a foul on Braga player on edge of the box is not given, they boo the referee. But the Braga fans have gained a bit of belief as they finally made it into Porto half. Porto fans boo when Viana fouls Hulk. They are quickly placated by the yellow card for the former Newcastle, Sporting and Valencia man.
Yellow Card Silvio
A wild, sliding challenge from Silvio provokes howls of anger from the Porto fans in the crowd. The Braga man comes charging into the back of Hulk with two feet and is extremely fortunate to escape a red card.
Hugo Viana overhits his free-kick to the extent that it briefly appears to threaten the goal with Helton backpedalling but in the end the ball had too much purchase.
Silvio has to be alert as Falcao chases onto a loose ball and the Braga defender does his job before Paolo Cesar wins a free-kick after a niggly foul from Fernando.
Guarin takes a tumble due to Hugo Viana's stray leg and Porto have a free-kick 35 yards from goal. Again, Hulk steps up but this time he goes for the shot on goal, failing to even remotely trouble Artur as the ball is blasted over the crossbar.
The aforementioned Garcia is flattened by Fernando who clumsily bundles into the defender as he was making a clearance upfield with a high foot.
Porto remaining patient despite their lack of joy thus far. Braga look to break the shackles through Miguel Garcia but his ball down the channel is far too strong for Lima and Rolando can tidy up.
Yellow Card Hugo Viana
Our first booking of the night goes to Hugo Viana for a full-blooded challenge on Hulk, which he disputes to no avail. The Braga captain came sliding in from the side and he took a lot of the man - always risking a yellow card with such a course of action.
Cries for a free-kick from the Braga contingent in the stands fall on deaf ears as Rolando is forced to head clear. Custodio looks for the through pass to Lima but Helton scampers out of his goal and he dives on the ball.
20 minutes gone and neither side have found their fluent best as of yet though of course Braga will be the happier of the two sides. And Porto's defence goes asleep as Paolo Cesar nips in down the left before Lima's shot is directed meekly at Helton.
Alvaro Pereira supports Varela down the left and crosses towards Falcao into the box but the free-scoring striker is thwarted by brave defending from Paulao who hurls himself at the ball.
After Vandinho's foul, referee Carballo rules the subsequent free-kick cannot be taken quickly. After a mini-conference, Hulk floats the ball into the area towards Falcao, who heads over the bar though he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
A further update from our correspondent Victor Vago inside the stadium: Great atmosphere around the stadium from the start. Opening ceremony very well received by the crowd and an even bigger cheer when teams came out before kick-off. Despite the great atmosphere, it's a shame the stadium isn't quite full. Apparently some Man City and Liverpool fans have been seen. They bought the tickets in January when they hoped their team might make it to the final.
Miguel Garcia has enough room on the right to cross but he cannot wrap his foot around the ball enough and Helton makes an easy take at his near post.
Braga win a free-kick, which is driven in at pace from distance but Otamendi is there to head the ball clear. Porto look to counter to Falcao but Alberto Rodriguez is ideally positioned to snuff that attack out.
The set-piece had the workings of a good move as Guarin floated the ball to the far post, where Otamendi headed it back across goal before Varela's acrobatic effort over his head is blasted over. Sapunaru stays down for a few seconds but soon recovers to his feet.
A few disapproving boos from the Braga fans as Hulk gets the benefit of the decision though he cannot take the throw-in as quickly as he would have liked. Alan then fouls Hulk from behind, giving Porto a free-kick over on the left, which Guarin is eyeing up.
As is his forte, Alvaro Pereira breaks well forward down the left and wins Porto's second corner. Hulk's outswinger is deeper and into the six-yard box but headed away by Miguel Garcia before the pressure is relieved with the award of a free-kick.
Hulk's outswinging corner is cleared away eventually after the first near post header only found its way to Falcao, who could not make anything like the contact with the ball that he would have wished. We saw the danger of the competition's top scorer from corners in the semi against Villarreal.
Otamendi does well with a clearing header to intercept Paolo Cesar's attempted ball out to the right in the direction of Alan after Vandinho won the ball for his side in midfield. Porto win their first corner thanks to Varela down the left moments after Hulk's cross was slightly overhit.
HULK WIDE! The Brazilian skips past Silvio as if he were not there, flying past the attempted lunging challenge before he cuts infield and beats Paulao before firing his left-footed shot wide of the goal.
A real hairy moment for Alberto Rodriguez, who lost out to Fredy Guarin yards from his own goal-line but he recovers quickly to avert the danger for Braga before a minor incident breaks out close to the half-way line. It's quickly nipped in the bud between Hugo Viana and Fernando.
Falcao is penalised for offside as he leaps unfairly inside the Braga penalty box to try and meet Alvaro Pereira's cross.
Braga's first real opportunity comes through Custodio who shoots wide on the volley from just inside the box after Porto's defence was caught pushing up. The midfielder fails to even test Helton on his 33rd birthday in the Porto goal.
A nervous touch from Silvio gifts the ball to Guarin 25 yards from goal but the in-form Colombian is unable to capitalise and the ball rolls through harmlessly to the Braga goalkeeper Artur. Both sides feeling their way into proceedings.
After a few seconds of head tennis, Porto win possession and keep the ball with patience before the move breaks down and Miguel Garcia allows the ball to roll slowly over the goal-line for a goal kick to the outsiders.
Falcao sets the ball down to kick off with Joao Moutinho. The referee blows his whistle and we're away in the Europa League final! Porto in blue and white, Braga in red with white shorts.
The players are making their way out onto the pitch on a pleasant evening in Dublin past the stunning Europa League trophy. Our referee tonight is from Spain - Carlos Velasco Carballo.
In stadium Braga fans mainly in east stand and Porto fans in west stand. Porto fans far more numerous, with many Porto fans also in east stand. Braga players came out first, with boos of Porto fans almost drowning out cheers of Braga fans. Braga fans massively outnumbered but showing their colours in unison.
Our Portuguese correspondent Victor Vago is savouring the atmosphere in Dublin before the kick-off and he has this to say: Great atmosphere about town all day. A real invasion, especially of Porto fans, boisterous, singing from early in the day, with excitement now approaching a crescendo. Even queuing to enter ground Porto fans were dancing up and down and singing.
Braga: Artur ; Miguel Garcia, Paulao, Alberto Rodriguez, Silvio ; Custodio, Vandinho ; Hugo Viana ; Alan, Lima, Paolo Cesar. Substitutes: Cristiano, Kaka, Mossoro, Helder Barbosa, Meyong, Elderson, Leandro Salino
Porto: Helton ; Sapunaru, Rolando, Otamendi, Alvaro Pereira ; Fernando, Joao Moutinho, Guarin ; Hulk, Falcao, Varela. Substitutes: Beto, Maicon, Belluschi, Walter, James Rodriguez, Souza, Ruben Micael.
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of the Europa League final between Porto and Braga. There may be two rather high profile state visits over the course of this week and next in Dublin but here at Goal.com we are all eagerly anticipating tonight's Europa League final at the Aviva Stadium in the Irish capital. Andre-Villas Boas' side have gone through the entire league season unbeaten but Braga, who finished 38 points adrift in the league, have nothing to lose in their first European final.
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