Braga boss Ricardo Sa Pinto hailed an unforgettable historic night for his team and for Portuguese football after their 1-0 win at Wolves.
Sa Pinto believes the victory, which consigned Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to a third straight loss and first setback in the Europa League after six straight wins, was hugely significant for his club and country.
Ricardo Horta scored the only goal in the 71st minute after a mistake by Ryan Bennett let in Galeno to cross and find him unmarked for his fifth goal in four ties after plenty of Wolves pressure and missed chances.
“We need to enjoy the moment, it’s a historic day for Braga,” said the 46-year-old. “It’s not every day you have a victory in Europe. Portugal is in competition with Russia for its categorisation so we can qualify directly for the qualifying rounds.
“We have played eight games to get here. It is important for the future of Portuguese football we go up in the ranking.
“Winning at Wolves away, a team who finished seventh in the Premier League last season, and taking into account the players they have. I am not going to talk about the budget, there is no point.
“But for me they are the one of the best in the Premier League and it not every day this happens. Yes, it is an unforgettable moment in the history of the club and Portuguese football.”
Sa Pinto insists Braga would have settled for a point in the Group K opener but reckons his players sensed they could beat Wolves.
“We were coming looking for a positive result and one point was going to be good but that wouldn’t have stopped us trying for three,” he said. “What I saw from the players was the belief on the pitch they could win.
“We do everything to get the win. This season we haven’t got the results we deserved and we’ll talk about this game in the coming days. It’s important to win. We’re in a difficult and challenging group.”