Dynamo wary of Braga's underdog tag
SC Braga have lost twice...
SC Braga have lost twice to FC Shakhtar Donetsk this term but FC Dynamo Kyiv`s Ognjen Vukojević says that having beaten Liverpool FC in the last 16, they will not be underestimated, according to UEFA.COM.
Ognjen Vukojević stressed that he and his FC Dynamo Kyiv team-mates would not be taking SC Braga lightly after being paired with the unheralded Portuguese side in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.
"Braga are doing very well this season," said the Croatia midfielder, a starter in 13 of the Ukrainian side`s 14 European games this season. "In the UEFA Champions League they proved a quality team and they knocked out Liverpool in the UEFA Europa League: don`t forget it. We need to be prepared for a very tough tie."
The sentiment was echoed by coach Yuri Semin, who highlighted how "finishing runners-up in Portugal last term shows they are a side with ambition". Yet they are not an unknown quantity for Ukraine`s footballing aristocracy: FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Dynamo`s great rivals, beat Braga twice in the UEFA Champions League group stage this season, 2-0 at home and 3-0 away.
Fernando Couto, the former Portugal defender who is now a director at Braga, says those results are long forgotten. "We respect Dynamo but I want to praise the fact that we`ve reached the Europa League quarter-finals for the first time," he said. "Braga had a good debut Champions League campaign and we want to continue in the Europa League, bringing success, results and prestige to Portugal."
Indeed, Braga are one of three Portuguese clubs in the last eight along with SL Benfica and Couto`s former employers FC Porto. They are more celebrated names: Dynamo certainly need no introductions. Six of the Bilo-Syni`s ten previous meetings with Portuguese opposition came against the pair, matches that have brought three wins, seven defeats and much disappointment.
For Vukojević the key to avoiding further frustration lies with the first leg on 7 April, originally destined for Braga but switched to Kyiv after an agreement between the sides. "We will play the first leg match at home and our main task must be not to concede," said the 27-year-old. "The second leg [a week later] and the tactics we choose all depend on that result."