Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas has labelled his side’s Europa League final against Sporting Braga as a ‘great challenge’.The two sides will meet in Dublin on May 18 to decide the winner of Europe’s second-tier club competition and although Porto have won both meetings between the two sides in Liga Sagres this season, the champions will not be taking Braga lightly.
Porto booked their spot in the final despite losing the second leg 3-2, as they cruised through on aggregate 7-4.
Villas-Boas also expressed his pride in his players after the victory, which keeps their chances of a historic treble alive, with the league title already wrapped up and a spot in the Portuguese Cup final, against Vitoria de Guimaraes, booked.
“I am very proud of my players for achieving this important objective,” Villas-Boas said.
“We resisted the initial Villarreal pressure and now we are into the final with Braga, who eliminated great teams such as Sevilla, Liverpool and Benfica. It is a great challenge for us.”
Porto defeated Braga 3-2 in their league clash in September before winning 2-0 away from home in February.
Villarreal boss Juan Garrido praised Porto after their aggregate victory, insisting they deserved to make the final.
“They (Porto) won and they deserved it,” Garrido said.
“I congratulate Porto, who have done a great job in winning this round. We fought with all we could.”
Garrido also thanked the fans who attended the second leg at El Madrigal, as they stuck by their team and saw them win on the night thanks to goals in the last 15 minutes from Joan Capdevila and a Giuseppe Rossi penalty.
“We played a good game and appeared to be doing well with the fans. Today (Thursday) I saw the fans believe in the team,” he said.
“I appreciate the fans’ support of the team.”