Betis hold Sporting Braga in bad-tempered friendly

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Cartaya (Spain), July 19 (IANS) Real Betis managed a 1-1 draw with Sporting Braga in a pre-season friendly that the Portuguese side finished with just eight men on the pitch.

While Betis had more of the ball in the contest at Cartaya’s Luis Rodriguez Salvador Stadium here on Wednesday night, they struggled on the attack against a very physical Sporting squad, reports Efe news agency.

And the first chance went to the visitors, an effort by Paulinho in the 2nd minute that forced Betis goalkeeper Joel Robles to make a save.

Betis threatened the Sporting goal three minutes later when a fine pass from Sergio Canales found Joaquin in a good position. Loren squandered another opportunity in the 18th minute.

A defensive lapse by Betis set up Paulinho to put Sporting ahead 1-0 with a goal in the 38th minute, four minutes before teammate Bruno Viana was sent off for his second yellow card of the night.

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Viana was quickly followed off by the Sporting coach and his top assistant, who each picked up red cards for dissent.

Betis pulled level in the 58th minute courtesy a powerful strike by Cristian Tello, but only the post stopped Ricardo Horta from regaining the lead for Sporting in the 67th.

The match turned ugly in the final 10 minutes. Sporting’s Joao Novais earned a red card for a pointless foul and the ejection prompted his teammates to threaten to abandon the pitch with eight minutes left in regulation.

Sporting finally resumed play, but with only eight men, as Horta’s protest over the expulsion of Novais saw him sent off as well.

–IANS

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