We have met Sporting Braga twice in European competition. The first time was 1984/5. Tottenham were defending the trophy they had won the previous season. Sporting were our first opponents in the September. The first leg away was a 3-0 win. All the goals came in a fifteen minute spell Mark Falco put us one up after a half an hour and them two goals in the four minutes, (Falco again and Tony Galvin), before the break left us with a good lead to defend back in London.
The return was a fine 6-0 win with the first two goals coming from the full backs Stevens and Houghton. Gareth Crooks got a hat trick and Falco with his third of the tie.
We would meet them again, and its the last time we played a team from Portugal, in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup (Round of 16). Once again we were away in the first leg. Keane and Malbranque put Spurs two up before we let them back in and they made it 2-2 then in the last few minutes Keane got our winner. They took the lead in the return at White Hart Lane before Berbatov struck twice. They drew level on the night but Malbranque got the winner and a passage to the Quarter Final. Top Image is Robbie Keane after his goal with Chimbonda.
We last time we met them was in 2010 when we beat them 1-0 on their own ground to win the Eusebio Cup. A few players from that night are still with the club, our team that night was -Gomes (Cudicini), Walker (Naughton), Corluka, Dawson, Bale (Rose), Lennon, Jenas, Huddlestone, Modric (Kranjcar), Crouch (Defoe), Giovani and (Townsend).
The only goal of the night came when Corluka sent Defoe free wide left, he played in Kranjcar, it ran on to Giovani who back healed the ball to open the defence for Bale who tucked it past the keeper.
One of the biggest clubs in Portugal, and indeed Europe at one point, is Sporting Club de Portugal. They are better known outside the country as Sporting Lisbon, there being a number of Portuguese clubs with Sporting in their title. Although we have never met them in competition we have played several friendlies. In December 1981 we flew out to Lisbon and lost 2-3, Villa and Roberts with our goals.
Then in 2010, only a few weeks before our last Benfica engagement we played them in Harrison, New Jersey as part of our USA tour. The game ending in a 2-2 draw. Keane and Obika getting our goals.
There was also a friendly game at our training ground in 2003. Tottenham fielded a fairly strong team against a mixture of reserves and youth players and we won 10-0. Jose Dominguez is now working with their reserve team as part of their coaching staff(1). Jose joined Spurs in 1997 The winger played in 58 games for the club, mostly from the bench and added five goals. He is one of our smallest players at five feet five inches. In 2000 he moved to Germany, and later had spells in the Middle East and as I discovered this week later in Brazil with Vasco da Gama (2).
We have had training camps in Portugal and loan arrangements for some of younger players with their clubs. There have been friendlies at academy level as Sporting are known to have one of the best youth set-up’s in Europe.
Notes 1 - I did read one report he was looking for a mangers post in South America, but couldn't find anything to confirm this.
2- Vasco Da Gama, Thats another connection to the club featured in Connections - Brazil. 21/12/13.
Thanks - THFC, THOS, BBC, Daily Mail, Windys.com, Colin Gibson & Harry Harris - Those Glory Glory Nights, THFC Video of same title. Daily Mirror.
Images - Top & 1 BBC, 2- Think Football,
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Keith Harrison, Nilgiris, TN
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