1 st Half
SC Braga was well organized defensively, positioning themselves in a Medium Block and defending in a 4x4x2. CD Tondela displayed many difficulties especially in understanding how they should set up their offensive positioning and search connections in order to arrive at chance creation zones with some quality, which helped SC Braga’s defensive action. When in their Defensive Organization, Braga had little to worry about, except for the short diagonal passes, one of the characteristic elements of CD Tondela’s Offensive Line. SC Braga’s behaviours when they were positioned in a Low Block with a line of 6 (which is not common) should also be mentioned since their usual behaviour so far had been to present a defensive line of 5 with a left winger.

Offensively, it was mainly through specific tactics (they scored twice from crosses after taking corner kicks) and the offensive transition (counter attack) that SC Braga managed to create scoring chances. In organization, the team sought to get the ball from one wing to the other in a more supported way and through longer passes. With that, they tried to explore the breadth and also the difficulties showed by the opponent (especially by their Defensive Line) in controlling the width of the pitch. They lost possession twice the 1 st phase of the build-up (in defensive transition) which allowed the opponent to get to the final third with a finishing chance.

2 nd Half
CD Tondela’s manager Pako Ayestaran changed the team’s tactical formation to a 3x4x3: with individual references, more duels, more approaches on the ball carrier and shorter possession periods. SC Braga adjusted their way of playing and started to defend in a 3x4x3 which allowed them to control the game.

SC Braga was competent during the offensive transition and in adapting their tactical formations, seeking, in organization, the support movements of the winger for the possible break through in the space left open with the dragging of the right-sided centre-back.

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Author: João Cancela