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Cardozo ensures top spot for Benfica against Oţelul

Published: Wednesday 7 December 2011, 22.55CET
SL Benfica 1-0 FC Oţelul Galaţi
Óscar Cardozo's early goal in Lisbon was enough for the hosts to win the contest and finish a point clear at the Group C summit.
by Andy Brassell
from Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

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Match statistics

BenficaOţelul

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target3
 
5
Attempts off target6
 
2
Corners5
 
1
Offsides2
 
2
Fouls committed19
 
17
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0
Possession (%)58
 
42

Standings

Group C

PPts
1SL Benfica Benfica612
2FC Basel 1893 Basel611
3Manchester United FC Man. United69
4FC Oţelul Galaţi Oţelul60
Last updated: 21/05/2012 17:42 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 7 December 2011, 22.55CET

Cardozo ensures top spot for Benfica against Oţelul

SL Benfica 1-0 FC Oţelul Galaţi
Óscar Cardozo's early goal in Lisbon was enough for the hosts to win the contest and finish a point clear at the Group C summit.

SL Benfica will go into the UEFA Champions League round of 16 draw on Friday week as Group C winners after a narrow defeat of eliminated FC Oţelul Galaţi.

Having secured qualification at Manchester United FC a fortnight ago, Benfica had to win to be sure of first place. The recalled Óscar Cardozo's early goal put them on track and ensured Dorinel Munteanu's men finish their debut campaign in the competition with no points despite a battling display in Portugal.

After a confident start, the Romanian champions were almost caught out by a quick counterattack in the sixth minute. Bruno César's through ball almost reached Nicolás Gaitán, but goalkeeper Branko Grahovac's superbly-judged dash from his goal nullified the danger.

A minute later, Benfica did take the lead. Axel Witsel's reverse ball released Gaitán and his low cross was tapped in at the back post by Cardozo – the Paraguayan's 23rd goal in UEFA club competition. With Manchester United trailing at FC Basel 1893, the home side were comfortably in charge of the group and generally controlled the game with ease.

Cardozo thrashed a shot just wide from outside the area but Oţelul broke quickly and nearly equalised in a rare foray forward. Fortunately for Benfica, Artur was alert to make a smart double block from Gabriel Paraschiv and then captain Gabriel Giurgiu, with Jardel completing the clearance from close range. The lively Giurgiu then curled an effort wide as the visitors gained in confidence, and Artur beat away a shot from Liviu Antal.

Benfica began the second period keen to reassert their authority, and the lively César volleyed powerfully into Grahovac's midriff from a Gaitán cross almost immediately. The Argentinian continued to get plenty of joy down the Oţelul left and another superb right-footed delivery found Cardozo, whose header ballooned over.

Javi García smashed a shot agonisingly wide from distance just past the hour after more cultured approach play by Witsel, and substitute Nolito drew a fine save from Grahovac after a one-two with Cardozo. Oţelul refused to go down quietly, and Artur again had to be on his game to tip over a Ioan Filip shot. Despite Rodrigo missing in the dying seconds when clean through, Benfica held on to the three points – and to first place.

Last updated: 27/11/12 4.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007662/postmatch/report/index.html#benfica+group+c

Lineups

benfica

Benfica

oţelul

Oţelul

1
ArturArtur (GK)
12
GrahovacBranko Grahovac (GK)
3
EmersonEmerson
3
RâpăCornel Râpă
5
Rúben AmorimRúben Amorim (C)
4
FilipIoan Filip
6
Javi GarcíaJavi García
6
BengaAlexandru Benga
7
Óscar CardozoÓscar Cardozo
Goal7
Yellow Card70
Substitution78
7
IorgaLaurenţiu Iorga
8
Bruno CésarBruno César
Substitution56
8
AntalLiviu Antal
Substitution81
10
AimarPablo Aimar
Substitution70
10
ParaschivGabriel Paraschiv
20
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
14
IlieSilviu Ilie
Substitution21
24
GarayEzequiel Garay
26
NeaguIonuţ Neagu
Substitution70
28
WitselAxel Witsel
29
GiurgiuGabriel Giurgiu (C)
Yellow Card86
33
JardelJardel
55
PerendijaMilan Perendija

Substitutes

47
EduardoEduardo (GK)
1
BrăneţCristian Brăneţ (GK)
9
NolitoNolito
Substitution56
5
LjubinkovićZoran Ljubinković
Substitution21
Yellow Card83
19
RodrigoRodrigo
Substitution70
11
FrunzăSorin Frunză
Substitution81
21
MatićNemanja Matić
19
PunoševacBratislav Punoševac
27
Miguel VítorMiguel Vítor
27
PenaMarius Pena
Substitution70
30
SaviolaJavier Saviola
Substitution78
37
VigliantiGabriel Viglianti
36
Luís MartinsLuís Martins

Coach

Jorge Jesus (POR) Dorinel Munteanu (ROU)

Referee

Manuel Gräfe (GER)

Assistant referees

Markus Häcker (GER), Guido Kleve (GER)

Fourth official

Robert Hartmann (GER)

Additional assistant referees

Christian Dingert (GER), Tobias Welz (GER)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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