Sporting Braga boss Domingos Paciencia believes his team can defy the odds and beat Porto in the Europa League final on Wednesday.Porto, who claimed the Liga Sagres title by winning 27 of 30 games and drawing the other three, are favourites going into the first all-Portuguese final in Dublin.
Paciencia said his team faced a tough task against a side he felt were good enough to play in the Champions League, but he was confident they could win the cup.
“Porto have always had a very strong team and right now they are a side that could do well in the Champions League. They are a Champions League club,” he said.
“In a final, and given how the season has gone, it’s natural that Porto are big favourites.”
“But it’s a final, it’s just one match. With the right inspiration and motivation, many situations can occur in a match that can get you a goal. That is what makes us believe it’s possible to win.”
Andre Villa-Boas’ Porto side have won the Portuguese Cup to go with their league title and could complete a treble in Dublin.
But Braga have defeated some of Europe’s best sides en route to the final, and Paciencia said his team deserved to be there.
“When you face a Liverpool, a Dynamo Kiev, even the champions of Poland, Lech, those are big names and automatically the players gain motivation,” he said.
“I also think the players’ capacity for hard work and their daily efforts are reflected in where they are now.”
Braga, who finished 38 points from Porto in the league, are winless in their last seven outings.