SL Benfica have won the Portuguese Super Cup thanks to a penalty shoot-out success against Rio Ave FC, the side they overcame in the League Cup and Portuguese Cup finals last term.
Despite those victories, and creating the majority of the chances, Benfica were unable to find a way past the UEFA Europa League play-off hopefuls in 120 minutes of football. Instead, they were reliant on a heroic display from goalkeeper Artur as the game was settled via spot kicks, with his three saves securing Benfica their fifth Super Cup title.
Looking to lift this trophy for the first time since 2005, the Eagles dominated possession and carved out a number of opportunities, particularly in the first half. Rio Ave defended stoutly, however, showing the same tenacity at the back that helped them edge past IFK Göteborg in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
Goalkeeper Cássio was especially alert for the northern club, against a Benfica lineup featuring just one new face in Anderson Conceição 'Talisca', who carried much of his team's threat. Nevertheless, it was Rio Ave who almost took the spoils in the final minute of extra time, when Jardel sent the ball against his own crossbar while attempting to clear.
That took the match to penalties, and Artur grabbed the limelight with stops from Tarantini, Diego Lopes and Tiago Pinto, with substitute Derley the only player to miss for Benfica. "We should have won it over the 90 minutes," said Eagles coach Jorge Jesus. "Of all the three finals we played against Rio Ave, this was the one we dominated the most, but we didn't manage to score.
"We showed the strength of Benfica tonight," he added. "It's an important victory for the team, the supporters and for me, as this was the only trophy I was missing in Portugal."
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