Bolton Wanderers 1 Braga 1: Hostile reception for new boy

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The Independent Football

A headed equaliser five minutes from time denied the Premier League's bottom side a morale boosting Uefa Cup victory in front of their new manager and a sparse 10,000 crowd at a disillusioned Reebok Stadium.

Gary Megson, whose appointment has so obviously failed to impress Bolton supporters, watched from the bench as El Hadji Diouf's second-half goal seemed to be steering them towards an unimpressive win which would have been hugely welcome for all that.

Sections of the crowd showed what they thought of the Megson appointment by chanting throughout the game for the sacking of the board who made the decision.

A truly dreadful first half did nothing to placate them, but there was a brief lift for the spirits when Diouf was brought on after an hour in a bid to inject some life into a side which has shown precious little so far.

Immediately, he got a shot on target, albeit a tame one from a near impossible angle. Jorginho had a slightly more realistic effort saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen at the other end as the game belatedly came to life.

Then, suddenly and quite out of context with everything that had gone before, the Diouf charm worked as Bolton were rewarded for what was by far their best move of the game.

The build up, involving him and Nicolas Anelka, was good, Kevin Davies' cross with the outside of his right foot was better and Diouf was perfectly placed to head past Paulo Santos for his first goal of the season.

His introduction now looked like a tactical masterstroke on the part of the caretaker manager, Archie Knox, who had been booed at the time for taking off Danny Guthrie.

Jaaskelainen had to save well from Cesar Peixoto to preserve a lead that could have been doubled when Davies hit the woodwork.

That would have flattered a Bolton performance that had shown their lack of confidence all too clearly. Instead of that the prize of full points from their first group game was dashed away from them by another substitute.

It was a soft goal, Joao Pereira being given far too much time to put in a cross from the right and the smallest man in the penalty area, Jailson, a Brazilian midfielder on loan from Benfica, was allowed to rise unchallenged to loop his header over Jaaskelainen and into the Bolton net.

"It's disappointing to concede a goal in the last five minutes because that's when you've got to be resilient," said Knox, who expects to be kept on in a support role under the new Megson regime.

Jorge Costa, the Braga manager, was not satisfied with the draw as he believed his side should have had a penalty for Andy O'Brien's tackle on Ze Manuel.

Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Hunt, A O'Brien, Meite, Cid; McCann, Guthrie (Diouf, 61), Speed, Gardner (Andranik, 81); Davies, Anelka. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), J O'Brien, Nolan, Braaten, Alonso.

Braga (4-4-2): Santos; Pereira, Jorge, Rodriguez, Peixoto; Vandinho, Madrid (Jailson, 76), Castanheira (Manuel, 66), Wender; Jorginho, Linz. Substitutes not used: Dani (gk), Tomas, Fernandes, Anilton, Stelvio.

Referee: D Ceferin (Sweden).

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