Giovanni Di Lorenzo hails Napoli for their ‘spirit of sacrifice’ to start the Champions League campaign with a 2-1 victory away to SC Braga, even if the goal wasn’t entirely what he intended.

It seemed to be relatively simple for the Partenopei in Portugal, as after several big saves from the local goalkeeper Matheus, Di Lorenzo volleyed in off the underside of the bar for the opening goal.

Braga barely threatened until the equaliser, a Bruma glancing header, but Piotr Zielinski saw his shot put into the net by defender Sikou Niakate and there was more luck when Pizzi thumped the upright with the last kick of the game.

“We created quite a few scoring opportunities that we were not able to convert. It was a victory we had to suffer for, but we know it is difficult in Europe, so we are happy with a win away from home,” Di Lorenzo told Mediaset and Sky Sport Italia.

“In football we must never lack that spirit of sacrifice and the squad showed today it knows how to suffer in difficult moments, but also play great football when we need to.

“These are three important points in a very tough group.”

Real Madrid scraped a last-gasp 1-0 win over Union Berlin, so Napoli are joint leaders of the group with Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Di Lorenzo admits his technique on the volley was not exactly what he had intended, as it bounced off the ground and onto the bar.

“I didn’t hit it that well, but I’ll take it! We need to improve in many different ways, we struggled with their possession in the second half, while in the first we should’ve scored a few more goals.”

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