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Benfica get the better of newcomers Astana

Published: Tuesday 15 September 2015, 22.41CET
Benfica 2-0 Astana
The Eagles were made to work hard by the debutants before Nicolás Gaitán and Kostas Mitroglou scored to ensure a victorious start in Group C.
Benfica get the better of newcomers Astana
Nicolás Gaitán (centre) celebrates with fellow goalscorer Kostas Mitroglou (right) ©AFP/Getty Images

Match statistics

BenficaAstana

Goals scored2
 
0
Possession (%)59
 
41
Total attempts17
 
14
on target8
 
1
off target7
 
9
blocked2
 
4
against woodwork0
1
Corners2
 
1
Offsides0
5
Yellow cards3
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed15
 
14
Fouls suffered14
 
15
Passes585
 
345
completed501
 
277

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 20/11/2017 15:48 CET
 
Published: Tuesday 15 September 2015, 22.41CET

Benfica get the better of newcomers Astana

Benfica 2-0 Astana
The Eagles were made to work hard by the debutants before Nicolás Gaitán and Kostas Mitroglou scored to ensure a victorious start in Group C.

  • Benfica condemn Astana to defeat on their group stage debut
  • Nicolás Gaitán and Kostas Mitroglou find the net in the second half
  • Astana hit the upright at 0-0 through substitute Aleksei Schetkin
  • Next games: Atlético Madrid v Benfica, Astana v Galatasaray (30 September)

Nicolás Gaitán and Kostas Mitroglou scored in the second half as Benfica got another UEFA Champions League campaign off to a victorious start at the expense of obdurate debutants Astana.

Astana, though, were far from overawed by the fact they were acting as trailblazers for Kazakhstani football. Stepping out at the venue of the 2014 final, Stanimir Stoilov's side were content to cede possession to Benfica, defend in numbers and attempt to catch their experienced opponents on the break.

It was a tactic that worked for 51 minutes of the Group C contest. They negotiated the first half with little cause for alarm, their only moments of genuine concern coming when Jonas was twice thwarted by Nenad Erić, the second time after an unchallenged burst into the penalty area.

©AFP/Getty Images

Georgi Zhukov and Talisca keep their eyes on the ball

Stoilov introduced Aleksei Schetkin for lone striker Junior Kabananga at half-time, a change that almost paid off within a minute of the restart, the Astana No9 showing persistence to get in between Jardel and Luisão and poke an effort against Júlio César's right-hand post.

Benfica, however, made the breakthrough their domination of possession deserved, Gaitán surging onto Mitroglou's pass and driving a shot past Erić. The deadlock broken, Rui Vitória's men suddenly found chances a lot easier to fashion, the unmarked Mitroglou the next to threaten with a header from Nélson Semedo's cross.

Mitroglou atoned for that miss with the clinching second just after the hour. On target twice at the weekend, the Greek international stole in ahead of Dmitri Shomko to tap in Eliseu's low delivery across goal.

Reaction
Rui Vitória, Benfica coach
Astana shut the door and we had problems finding space. In the second half we scored twice and overall managed to control the match. It's good to start at home with a win, which is very important. There's always some anxiety before matches such as this. We faced a team who wanted to surprise us and managed to restrict our space.

Stanimir Stoilov, Astana coach
I want to congratulate Benfica on the win. We played well, mainly in the first half, but in the second Benfica showed their level so we have to salute them. We played a bit defensively, but at home, being more attacking, I believe we can score.

©AFP/Getty Images

Astana captain Foxi Kéthévoama (left) gets away from Andreas Samaris

©AFP/Getty Images

Baurzhan Dzholchiyev and Eliseu (right) vie for possession

©AFP/Getty Images

High fives between goalscorers Kostas Mitroglou and Nicolás Gaitán

©AFP/Getty Images

Nicolás Gaitán salutes the Benfica fans after his goal

©AFP/Getty Images

Benfica coach Rui Vitória gestures on the touchline

Last updated: 11/11/15 16.54CET

https://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2016/matches/round=2000634/match=2015670/postmatch/report/index.html#benfica+defeat+astana

Lineups

benfica

Benfica

astana

Astana

12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
1
ErićNenad Erić (GK)
4
LuisãoLuisão (C)
5
AničićMarin Aničić
Yellow Card21
7
SamarisAndreas Samaris
Yellow Card40
Substitution85
6
MaksimovićNemanja Maksimović
10
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
Goal51
8
ZhukovGeorgi Zhukov
Yellow Card78
11
MitroglouKostas Mitroglou
Goal62
10
KéthévoamaFoxi Kéthévoama (C)
17
JonasJonas
Substitution72
22
DzholchiyevBaurzhan Dzholchiyev
Yellow Card24
Substitution81
19
EliseuEliseu
33
B. IlićBranko Ilić
Substitution90+2
20
Gonçalo GuedesGonçalo Guedes
Yellow Card45+1
44
PostnikovEvgeni Postnikov
30
TaliscaTalisca
Substitution77
77
ShomkoDmitri Shomko
33
JardelJardel
Yellow Card83
88
CañasRoger Cañas
50
SemedoNélson Semedo
89
KabanangaJunior Kabananga
Substitution46

Substitutes

1
EdersonEderson (GK)
40
GolubnichiMikhail Golubnichi (GK)
5
FejsaLjubomir Fejsa
Substitution85
2
Y. AkhmetovYeldos Akhmetov
9
JiménezRaúl Jiménez
Substitution77
9
SchetkinAleksei Schetkin
Substitution46
21
PizziPizzi
Substitution72
11
MuzhikovSerikzhan Muzhikov
28
SílvioSílvio
12
PikalkinIgor Pikalkin
31
Victor AndradeVictor Andrade
15
BeysebekovAbzal Beysebekov
Substitution81
38
Nuno SantosNuno Santos
24
DedechkoDenys Dedechko
Substitution90+2

Coach

Rui Vitória (POR) Stanimir Stoilov (BUL)

Referee

Tasos Sidiropoulos (GRE)

Assistant referees

Damianos Efthimiadis (GRE), Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)

Fourth official

Christos Akrivos (GRE)

Additional assistant referees

Michael Koukoulakis (GRE), Stavros Tritsonis (GRE)

Legend:

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