Galatasaray beats Braga, stays in Champs League
(AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)
BRAGA, Portugal (AP) A late goal by Aydin Yilmaz gave Galatasaray a 2-1 win over Braga and sent the Turkish club into the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in 11 years on Wednesday.
Galatasaray was level on points with Cluj going into the last Group H games and needed a win in Portugal to beat the Romanian club to second place and advance behind group winner Manchester United. Galatasaray and Cluj each have 10 points but the Turkish club has head-to-head advantage, sending the Romanian team into the Europa League.
Braga finished bottom of the group with three points and is out of European football.
Galatasaray was fortunate to claim its third group win after a blunder-filled performance in northern Portugal that made Braga look the likely winner, even though Burak Yilmaz also hit the goal-frame in an improved late spell for the visitor.
Aydin Yilmaz scored the winner in the 78th, 20 minutes after Burak Yilmaz equalized with his sixth Champions League goal.
Marcio Mossoro broke the deadlock in the 32nd with a low shot from the edge of the area.
Mossoro, Eder and Paulo Vinicius were poised to capitalize on the visitor's defensive mistakes but squandered opportunities from close range in the opening 15 minutes.
Galatasaray made some promising moves down the left flank but seldom made significant progress and was repeatedly backpedalling after losing the ball.
Updated December 5, 2012