Braga 5-0 Marítimo – Warriors run riot at the Quarry

Sporting Braga continued their strong start to the season with a 5-0 win over Marítimo at the Quarry.

Artur Jorge’s side started strong as Vitinha opened the scoring in the 9th minute and Iuri Medeiros extended the lead just before half-time.

Artur Jorge’s side maintained their dominance in the second half, with Simon Banza continuing his fine form before substitutes Abel Ruiz and Rodrigo Gomes sealed the deal.

Braga is burning

Braga ran from the blocks and created chance after chance, Iuri Medeiros firing a Nuno Sequeira cross over the bar before Fabiano’s shot was deflected wide. Medeiros had another chance which was saved by Miguel Silva and Ricardo Horta’s follow-up shot went over the bar.

Artur Jorge’s side kept up the pressure and took the lead in the 9th minute. Andre Horta made a clean 2-1 draw with Vitinha, getting behind Marítimo’s defense and retaliating with the striker hitting the ball off the post.

Marítimo applied some pressure but couldn’t test Matheus. The game became a sloppy and bumpy affair until the 32nd minute when Vítor Costa produced a crucial block when Simon Banza certainly scored.

Braga revived and resumed dominance, Vitinha failing to hold a difficult volley before Ricardo tested Horta Silva from long range.

The Warriors stayed on the gas and were rewarded with their second goal in the 42nd minute. Marítimo failed with several attempts to clear the ball, Medeiros found himself wide open and took his time to find his spot with Silva stranded.

Vasco Seabra made two substitutions at the break: Antonio Zarzana replaced Miguel Sousa on the right wing and Vitor Costa replaced Zainadine Júnior, who switched to central defence.

The visitors created two chances to get back in the game, the first when Matheus deflected Joel Tagueu’s shot over the bar. Cláudio Winck then charged down the right wing, dallying wide and missing an opportunity to cross to an unmarked Edgar Costa.

Marítimo’s resistance is futile

Once again, Marítimo’s pressure was brief as Braga extended their lead in the 57th minute. Silva potted a corner out of Medeiros, his cross picked out Banza who showed great skill to trip the ball and hit Silva.

Artur Jorge immediately made two changes, replacing Medeiros and Vitinha with Álvaro Djaló and Abel Ruiz. It was 4-0 six minutes later when the substitutes came together. Djaló’s defense split the pass and let go of Ruiz, who kept his cool to defeat the helpless keeper.

Ricardo Horta made way for Diego Lainez, who immediately saw two shots deflected wide.

André Castro and Rodrigo Gomes replaced André Horta and Simon Banza in the 79th and once again it was a substitute who would score next. Gomes blurted out clearly, playing a 1-2 with Lainez, getting behind the defense and beating Silva at his near post.

Too simple

Braga started the match on fire with a seemingly inevitable flogging. They had to be patient before doubling their lead at half-time and rushing away to a well-deserved victory in the second half.

It’s not far-fetched to say Artur Jorge’s side could win their next four games before a tough journey at the Estádio do Dragão.

Sikou Niakaté was again strong and dominating central defence, the Guingamp loanee is thriving in Braga alongside Simon Banza, who has scored four goals in three games.

Vitinha celebrated his contract extension until 2027 with his first goal of the season, while Abel Ruiz struck from the bench to remind Jorge he has three good options up front. Álvaro Djaló came out of nowhere to create an attacking threat from the bench alongside Diego Lainez and Rodrigo Gomes.

Braga’s squad is in good shape to put pressure on the top 3 and make another deep run in the Europa League. Jorge will be desperate to hold on to Al Musrati, with Sporting CP likely considering the holding midfielder as a partial replacement for Mateus Nunes.

Seabra in dispute

Vasco Seabra couldn’t have wished for two tougher away games at the start of the season. His team missed out on the races in a 5-1 defeat by Porto in Dragão and a 5-0 defeat in Braga.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, between those defeats there was a return to Funchal where they suffered a 2-1 loss to Chaves. They took a 1-0 lead against the newly promoted side at half-time, allowing 21 shots, with the visitors hitting the woodwork and missing a penalty.

Seabra said it was “a game we’ll never forget because I think it’s been worse since I’ve been at Marítimo.” He also said his side “have to stay compact,” but there was little evidence of that in Braga repeatedly cut open with easy 1-2s an alarming sign.

The 38-year-old manager defended his decision not to give any of his seven signings a starting berth in Marítimo’s first two games, which continued at The Quarry. “I think the reinforcements have quality and they need time to understand the game ideas, find rhythm and grow,” stressing the importance of “management according to the balance of the team and the form of each player.”

Regardless of all the mumbo-jumbo, whatever Seabra is trying to do just isn’t working and he needs to make changes now. Expect new signings Matous Trmal, Antonio Zarzana, Lucho Vega and Pablo Moreno to start sooner rather than later.

Through Matthew Marshall at the Estadio Municipal de Braga


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