Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (Da Luz), Lisboa, Portugal
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FT: The result means that Benfica leapfrog Sporting to go to the top of the league on 13 points, one point clear of their neighbouring rivals. Braga remain in fourth on 10 points.
FT: The visitors didn’t create many chances in the second-half but they did find a consolation when Rosić headed home a Coutinho corner. The game may have had a different complexion had the visitors converted their chances in the first-half, with Hassan’s miss proving costly.
FT: Benfica’s second-half goals caused controversy for their visitors, although they were correctly awarded. Pizzi, was in an offside position from Mitroglou’s pass but due to Coutinho’s ricochet, the midfielder was deemed onside and he fired home. Then Pizzi’s cross was headed home by Mitroglou, who was onside, much to the visitors’ protests.
FT: So Benfica have cruised to victory in the end. They dominated this match and created a number of chances that were finished off by Mitroglou and Pizzi. The margin of victory could have have been larger had it not been for Marafona, who made a number of fine saves to keep the scoreline to three.
90’+3′ The referee blows his whistle to bring the match to an end.
90’+2′ Eduardo receives a yellow card for a late challenge on López.
90′ There will be three additional minutes.
89′ Goal!! Coutinho’s corner is met by Rosić, who heads home off the post.
88′ Eduardo wins a corner.
88′ Final Benfica change sees André Almeida replace Fejsa.
88′ Guedes is caught offside.
83′ Chance!! Guedes finds Gomes who fires an effort that Marafona palms away.
83′ Coutinho is penalised for a foul.
82′ Semedo is caught offside.
81′ Second Benfica change sees Mitroglou replaced by José Gomes.
80′ Final Braga change sees Santos replaced by Alan.
79′ The corner is cleared.
78′ Grimaldo concedes a corner.
77′ Goal!! A Semedo cross falls to Pizzi who does well to keep the ball and send in a deflected cross that is met by Mitroglou who heads home.
74′ Goal!! A Mitroglou pass ricochets off Coutinho into Pizzi, who now became onside and he fires home from close-range despite Marafona getting something on the ball.
71′ Second Braga change sees Pinto replaced by Artur Jorge.
70′ Marafona claims the delivery.
69′ Chance!! Pizzi does well to find Guedes who fires just wide via a deflection. Prior to the chance Pizzi went to ground under a challenge from Goiano but the referee was unmoved.
68′ Chance!! Guedes receives the ball and drives forward before firing an effort at goal but Marafona palms it away.
66′ First Braga change sees R. Horta replaced by Douglas Coutinho.
66′ First Benfica change sees Salvio replaced by André Carrillo.
65′ López wins a freekick.
64′ López wins a freekick.
63′ Chance!! The hosts lose possession and Hassan finds R. Horta who fires an effort wide from-range.
58′ The corner is overhit and goes out for a throw-in.
57′ Benfica win a corner.
56′ R. Horta is caught offside.
56′ Baiano surges forward and cuts-inside before firing an effort over the bar.
53′ Salvio is caught offside.
50′ Guedes is penalised for a foul.
49′ The corner is cleared.
49′ Close!! Guedes’ freekick takes a deflection and wrongfoots Marafona but the keeper reacts magnificently to palm the effort behind for a corner.
48′ Guedes wins a freekick in a good position.
47′ Chance!! Eduardo finds Goiano with a back-heel and the full-back tries to bend an effort at goal but César makes an easy save.
46′ Close!! The corner is met by Vukčević whose effort under-pressure loops just over the bar.
46′ R. Horta wins a corner.
45′ Benfica get the second-half underway.
HT: The visitors will need to be more clinical if they are to find a way back in this game given Benfica are so dangerous on the counter-attack. So will Benfica add to their tally or will Braga come back in this game? Join us again for the second-half.
HT: This match could have been so different had the visitors taken their chances. Some lacklustre Benfica defending has gifted the Arsenalistas some glorious opportunities, first Fejsa lost possession which eventually led to Hassan firing wide when one-on-one. Then Santos was denied by César from close-range. After trailing, R. Horta had a good chance to level the scores when the was found in space on the right side of the box but César made a good save with his feet to keep Benfica ahead. Then Rogic’s flick-on from a corner was tipped over the bar by César.
HT: The goal was coming for the hosts and Guedes did well to surge forward and pull the ball back to returning striker Mitroglou who curled home. They also went close to doubling their lead right on the stroke of half-time with López heading just off-target.
HT: The hosts have controlled the game well and created a number of good chances prior to the goal with Guedes, Salvio and Grimaldo going close. Guedes and Grimaldo have combined well in this first period and have caused Braga quite a few problems on the left flank. They exchanged some nice passes, most notably when Guedes pulled the ball back to Salvio whose effort was tipped behind by Marafona.
HT: So Benfica lead at the break thanks to Mitroglou’s goal.
45’+4′ The referee blows the whistle to bring the first 45 minutes to an end.
45’+3′ Close!! Pizzi’s delivery is met by the head of López, who heads just over the bar.
45’+2′ Guedes wins a freekick in a good position after a foul from Vukčević.
45’+1′ Baiano receives a yellow card for a cynical foul on Pizzi.
45′ The corner is cleared.
45′ Chance!! The corner is flicked-on by Rosić but César reacts well to tip it over the bar.
45′ There will be four additional minutes.
45′ Eduardo wins a corner.
44′ Santos surges forward for the visitors before firing an effort off-target from outside the area.
42′ Mitroglou is penalised for a foul.
39′ The corner is dealt with by the hosts.
38′ Eduardo wins a corner.
36′ Chance!! The corner is taken short before a deep Eduardo cross falls to Vukčević but he loses his footing at the vital moment and the ball goes out for a goalkick.
36′ Chance!! Braga break with Santos who finds R. Horta who fires an effort on-goal but César makes a fine save with his feet.
35′ Grimaldo wins a freekick.
34′ Salvio overhits a cross and it goes out for a goalkick.
32′ A. Horta wins back possession from his brother before firing an audacious effort over the bar.
30′ Lindelöf concedes a corner.
29′ Salvio wins a freekick.
29′ Chance!! Fejsa receives the ball before firing an effort from-range but Marafona saves comfortably.
26′ Goal!! Guedes surges forward and pulls the ball back to Mitroglou who curls home first-time past Marafona. It’s the Greek striker’s first goal of the season.
24′ R. Horta is caught offside.
23′ Play resumes.
21′ Delay in the match as Marafona receives further treatment, he’s still struggling with an injury.
20′ Chance!! Pizzi finds Guedes, who fires wide from a tight-angle.
18′ Chance!! Grimaldo surges forward and cut-inside before firing an effort that forces Marafona to palm the ball away.
17′ A Salvio cross is met by Guedes but he can only head wide from a tight-angle under-pressure.
16′ Delay over, play resumes.
14′ Slight delay in the match as Marafona is struggling with an injury following a coming together with Rosić. The keeper is receiving treatment.
10′ Pizzi’s corner is cleared.
10′ Chance!! Grimaldo exchanges passes with Guedes whose deep cross falls to Salvio whose effort is somehow tipped over the bar by Marafona.
8′ Chance!! Grimaldo finds Guedes whose efforts tests Marafona.
6′ The corner is cleared.
5′ Chance!! Hassan plays a teasing low cross across the face of goal to Santos who looks set to put the visitors ahead, but César smothers the effort at the expense of a corner.
3′ Chance!!! Fejsa gifts possession to the visitors and Hassan is played through on-goal and has just César to beat but the forward fired just wide, when he really should have scored.
1′ Chance!! Salvio finds Mitroglou who fires an effort from-range inches wide of the post.
0′ Braga get the game underway.
S.L. Benfica: Júlio César (GK), Álex Grimaldo, Victor Lindelöf, Lisandro López, Nélson Semedo, Ljubomir Fejsa, Pizzi, André Horta, Eduardo Salvio, Kostas Mitroglou, Gonçalo Guedes
S.C. Braga: Marafona (GK), Marcelo Goiano, André Pinto, Lazar Rosić, Baiano, Nikola Vukčević, Mauro, Ricardo Horta, Pedro Santos, Wilson Eduardo, Ahmed Hassan