Estádio Marcolino de Castro, Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal
Benfica moved back to the top of Liga NOS after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Feirense at the Estádio Marcolino de Castro in Santa Maria da Feira.
Pizzi’s first-half strike, two minutes before the break was enough for the Águias, who leapfrogged Porto to climb back to top-spot.
The hosts initially started well and went close to taking the lead within the first minute after Eduardo Salvio lost possession to Anastasios Karamanos, who curled an effort that deflected just wide of the far-post.
In the 18th minute, the visitors should have taken the lead when a Benfica break from a Feirense corner saw Andrija Živković find Salvio, the Argentine had a number options but went himself and fired a tame effort that Vaná saved comfortably.
Four minutes later the Águias went close again when Kostas Mitroglou met a cross from Pizzi with a glancing header but Vaná made a fine save to deny the Greek striker.
In the 28th minute the hosts should have taken the lead when Luisão miscued his clearance after a dangerous delivery from Sergio Barge, the loose ball fell to Luís Machado, but he somehow fired the ball over the bar from close-range with the goal at his mercy.
Twelve minutes later the hosts went close again when Karamanos’ teasing delivery found Machado, who curled an effort just over the bar under-pressure.
Two minutes later the visitors punished Feirense when Pizzi collected a pass from André Carrillo before calmly slotting home past Vaná.
Benfica went close to a second goal two minutes later when Carrillo’s teasing delivery found Salvio, but his tame header was saved easily by Vaná.
Four minutes into the restart the hosts had a great chance to level the scores when Oghenekaro Etebo was played through on-goal, the midfielder had just Ederson to beat but the keeper smothered the effort behind.
In the 55th minute Benfica had a good chance to double their lead when Vaná was dispossessed by Salvio near the corner-flag, the Argentine found Mitroglou but his effort was charged-down as the Feirense keeper retreated goalwards.
Five minutes later the visitors went close again when André Almeida’s teasing delivery was met by Mitroglou, but he could only head the ball just wide.
In the 68th minute the hosts should have levelled the scores when a Feirense corner fell to Karamanos, but his effort was straight at Ederson, who made a fine instinctive saved with his feet, although the Greek striker had to score.
In the 71st minute Benfica should have doubled their lead when substitute Franco Cervi pulled the ball back to compatriot Salvio, but he could only fire the ball inches wide of the bottom-corner.
A minute later the Águias thought they had doubled their lead when Salvio fired home after a fine pass from Cervi, but the flag was already up for offside.
In the 86th minute the hosts went close to a leveller when Vítor Bruno fired a fierce effort from-range but Ederson made a fine stop.
The result meant that Benfica moved back to the top of Liga NOS on 60 points whilst Feirense remained in 13th on 26 points.