Barcelona one step from the CLArticle
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A 26-28 victory in Braga took Barcelona one step closer to the Group stage of Champions League. Decision on 5 September in Palau Blaugrana

Barcelona one step from the CL

A 26-28 victory in Braga took Barcelona one step closer to the Group stage of Champions League. The Catalonians were the favourites to pass the qualification game, but Braga was a very hard opponent on home court and they will still fight until the end to make their CL dreams real.

Romero was the most prolific: 8 goalsIker Romero, Jerome Fernandez and Victor Tomas were the best players of Barcelona in the first leg. The Spanish team could have decided the matter, but ABC Braga came back and made a close match. Barça will have to settle the matter in the Palau Blaugrana.

Big resistance

Braga begun the match with a lot of motivation and took a lead at 9-7. The Portuguese team knew that it would be easier for them to win in Braga. Barcelona were not able to take the control of the match in the first time that ended 13-13. The Portuguese defence could keep the Barça stars under control and the attack of Spanish team was far from perfect. The best weapon of Barcelona was fast break.

The situation did not change in the first ten minutes of the second half. Braga were two goals ahead and Barcelona were not able score easy goals. A 7-metre throw by Iker Romero started a 0-6 for Barcelona in the 42nd minute. Losert showed a very good performance in these minutes, while Nagy helped the attack with five goals. He was punished with two suspensions, but gave more determination to the Catalonian defence.

Barcelona could have decided the fixture with these six goals, but Braga continued to fight and closed the gap. Now we must wait and see which team will qualify on 5 September in the Palau Blaugrana, a venue for so many past Barcelona successes.

Albert Rocas and Eric Gull have a week to recover as Manolo Cadenas could not send them on court in Portugal.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi