AS Monaco was already faced with an uphill battle even before the first leg when the draw revealed that the French club would be facing Braga in the Round of 16. Before the first leg, Monaco had lost its last three matches against Portuguese sides in all competitions, conceding nine goals while only scoring twice along the way. Then, it lost 2-0 in Portugal, extending the streak to four straight losses.
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Match Date: March 17, 2022
Match Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
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It must be said that Braga’s goalkeeper Matheus played phenomenally in the first leg to keep the clean sheet in the 2-0 victory. There were three very clear opportunities in one-on-one situations for Monaco that were all thwarted by the Brazilian shot-stopper.
On the attacking side, Braga was able to get one very early in the match when Abel Ruiz finished a one-on-one situation of his own after Monaco’s defense was unable to clear the ball properly following a corner kick.
Second-half substitute Vitinha was then able to double the lead 85 minutes later putting the ball in the back of the net with a powerful header.
Monaco does have a glimmer of hope, though, as the French club has progressed from each of its last two European ties when losing the first leg by two or more goals away from home, eliminating Manchester City in 2016-17 after losing the first leg 5-3, and Juventus in 2003-04 when losing the first leg 4-2. Can Monaco do it again?