November 5, 2013 / 11:09 PM / 5 years ago

Braaten strike keeps Copenhagen in the hunt

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Daniel Braaten’s deft flick gave FC Copenhagen a 1-0 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday as the Danish champions stayed in the hunt for a place in the Champions League knockout stages.

Braaten got the hosts off to a flying start, applying a glancing touch to Rurik Gislason’s precise centre to turn the ball home six minutes into the Group B match.

Galatasaray clawed their way back into the game, hitting a post and having a goal disallowed for offside, but despite going close several times in a pulsating second half they could not fashion an equalizer.

Copenhagen are third in Group B, a point ahead of Juventus and level on four with second-placed Galatasaray who trail leaders Real Madrid on 10. The Danes are unbeaten at home in the Champions League group stage during their three campaigns.

“It’s fantastic. It’s brilliant and indescribably beautiful,” defender Lars Jacobsen told TV station 3+.

“We have made it possible for ourselves, so now we are very much looking forward to the last two matches.

“I think we played really well the first 25 minutes but after that it was tough,” the Copenhagen captain said. “They hit the post from a corner, but we should have closed out the game in the first half.”

Galatasaray had the ball in the Copenhagen net after 21 minutes when Johan Wiland made a brilliant save from a Burak Yilmaz header, but Bruma was adjudged to be offside when he fired home the rebound.

Braaten missed great chance to put his side two up just before halftime, firing straight at the goalkeeper from close range. Moments later Didier Drogba blazed a volley high over the crossbar at the other end.

The Danes spent much of the second half defending deeply, inviting the Turkish champions to attack and content to clear their lines when they had the chance. When their rearguard was breached, goalkeeper Johan Wiland showed himself to be up to the task.

Their tactics paid off and their remarkable unbeaten home record in the Champions League group stages remained in tact at the final whistle.

Writing by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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