Late Own Goal Hands Napoli 2-1 Victory in Champions League Clash
In a captivating Champions League Group C showdown on Wednesday, Sporting Braga defender Sikou Niakate's late own goal proved decisive as Italian champions Napoli secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory on foreign soil.
The match was characterized by numerous missed opportunities, yet Napoli managed to break the deadlock in first-half injury time. Captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo capitalized on a chance created by striker Victor Osimhen, who redirected the ball away from the goal. Di Lorenzo seized the opportunity and skillfully struck the ball, which rebounded off the crossbar and into the net.
Braga, making their third appearance in the Champions League and the first in 11 seasons, intensified their efforts in the second half. Forward Bruma came to the fore, equalizing in the 84th minute with a well-executed header, courtesy of a pinpoint cross delivered by substitute Rodrigo Zalazar.
However, just four minutes later, it was an unfortunate turn of events for Braga as Niakate unintentionally became the protagonist. He inadvertently redirected a pass from Piotr Zielinski into his own net from close range with his first touch, sealing the victory for Napoli.
In the parallel Group C fixture, Real Madrid secured a 1-0 home victory over Union Berlin earlier on Wednesday, with Jude Bellingham's late goal making the difference.