The Final: Falcao settles underwhelming contest.By: Dan | May 18th, 2011
Porto 1 – Braga 0
Porto capped off a masterful season by being crowned Europa League champions. A goal from leading scorer Falcao was enough to capture the trophy for the Portuguese champions, and make Andre Villas Boas the youngest manager ever to win a European trophy.
In some ways, it was fitting that there wasn’t a single US broadcaster that could find the space to put a major European final on live television, because, in truth, this final was rather underwhelming. Despite Porto’s overwhelming dominance of the Europa League throughout the season, underdogs Braga, and their cautious, counter attacking approach, rather than the steamrolling displays that have marked Porto’s campaign, determined the flow of this final. Considering the sheer amount of goals Porto have poured in during the course of this season though, it might be a tad churlish not to indulge their one off night, against capable and determined defensive opponents.
Braga were successfully holding Porto at bay for much of the first half, but a Fredy Guarin cross was headed home by Falcao, for his seventeenth Europa League goal this season, just before halftime.
Braga had a golden opportunity to equalize shortly after the restart, but halftime substitute Mossoro, who was one on one with Helton after taking the ball off of Fernando could only put his effort into the goalkeeper’s legs.
Despite a mostly disjointed effort from Porto for large parts of the second half, Mossoro’s wasted chance was Braga’s best opportunity to get back into the game, as Porto held on to claim the trophy.