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Cardozo tips all-Portuguese tie Benfica's way

Published: Thursday 28 April 2011, 23.12CET
SL Benfica 2-1 SC Braga
All the goals came in an eventful nine-minute spell early in the second half, Óscar Cardozo giving Benfica the edge with an exquisite free-kick.
by Andy Brassell
from Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

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Match statistics

BenficaBraga

Goals scored2
 
1
Attempts on target6
 
4
Attempts off target5
 
4
Corners7
 
0
Offsides3
 
6
Fouls committed16
 
17
Yellow cards1
 
3
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 28 April 2011, 23.12CET

Cardozo tips all-Portuguese tie Benfica's way

SL Benfica 2-1 SC Braga
All the goals came in an eventful nine-minute spell early in the second half, Óscar Cardozo giving Benfica the edge with an exquisite free-kick.

SC Braga's miserable run at the home of SL Benfica continued after a 2-1 defeat in an intense UEFA Europa League semi-final first leg between the Portuguese rivals.

Second-half goals from central defender Jardel and striker Óscar Cardozo preserved the Eagles' record of having lost just once at home to the Minho side in their history. Yet the goal by captain Vandinho which briefly restored parity gives Domingos Paciência's team hope of staging a comeback when the Lisbon outfit arrive at the Estádio Municipal for next Thursday's second leg.

In a surprisingly open beginning to a tie between two sides who know each other so well, Braga started nervously. A mix-up straight from kick-off gave Javier Saviola a sight of goal before Paulão swept clear, though it was Benfica's turn to sweat in the third minute as Sílvio arrowed a sweet shot narrowly wide from distance.

Openings began to dry up as Braga pressed more effectively, though Saviola forced Artur to parry his 21st-minute volley. The vision of Pablo Aimar − who will sit out the return after a second-half booking − almost unlocked the door ten minutes later, but when the Argentinian's precision pass cut open the visitors' defence, Cardozo lifted the ball over.

Cardozo was centimetres away from giving Benfica the lead on the cusp of the break, collecting Saviola's delightful chipped pass and shrugging off Paulão's challenge, but his side-foot finish bounced back off a post. Benfica's luck turned in the 50th minute, though, when Maxi Pereira crossed from the right, Cardozo struck the upright with a header and Jardel poked in the rebound.

Yet the Arsenalistas, who have surprised ever since setting off on their European adventure last July, hit back within three minutes. Hugo Viana's free-kick was flicked in via the head of Vandinho, sending the 4,000 travelling fans from the north into raptures. It was the Braga skipper's first goal on what was his 44th appearance in UEFA competition, and will soften the blow of missing the second leg through suspension after he received a yellow card in the first period.

Cardozo was not finished, and as the hour approached he curled a sumptuous free-kick into Artur's top left-hand corner from 25 metres. As the game entered its final quarter, Lima forced Roberto to scramble his low shot away, but Jorge Jesus' men closed the game out to ensure themselves of the upper hand.

Last updated: 07/12/13 4.18CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000132/match=2007738/postmatch/report/index.html#benfica+edge+ahead+braga

Lineups

benfica

Benfica

braga

Braga

12
RobertoRoberto (GK)
1
ArturArtur (GK)
4
LuisãoLuisão (C)
2
Alberto RodríguezAlberto Rodríguez
Yellow Card6
6
Javi GarcíaJavi García
3
PaulãoPaulão
7
Óscar CardozoÓscar Cardozo
Goal59
15
Miguel GarciaMiguel Garcia
Yellow Card43
10
AimarPablo Aimar
Yellow Card53
18
LimaLima
Substitution84
14
Maxi PereiraMaxi Pereira
19
MeyongAlbert Meyong
Substitution55
17
Carlos MartinsCarlos Martins
Substitution65
25
Leandro SalinoLeandro Salino
18
Fábio CoentrãoFábio Coentrão
28
Sílvio PereiraSílvio Pereira
25
César PeixotoCésar Peixoto
Substitution65
30
AlanAlan
30
SaviolaJavier Saviola
Substitution86
45
Hugo VianaHugo Viana
Substitution62
33
JardelJardel
Goal50
88
VandinhoVandinho (C)
Yellow Card39
Goal53

Substitutes

13
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
42
CristianoCristiano (GK)
2
AirtonAirton
Substitution86
4
KakáKaká
Substitution84
11
JaraFranco Jara
Substitution65
8
MossoróMossoró
Substitution62
16
Felipe MenezesFelipe Menezes
10
Hélder BarbosaHélder Barbosa
20
GaitánNicolás Gaitán
Substitution65
20
EldersonElderson
27
SidneiSidnei
27
CustódioCustódio
Substitution55
31
Alan KardecAlan Kardec
48
Aníbal CapelaAníbal Capela

Coach

Jorge Jesus (POR) Domingos Paciência (POR)

Referee

Craig Thomson (SCO)

Assistant referees

Francis Andrews (SCO), Graham Chambers (SCO)

Fourth official

Bobby Madden (SCO)

Additional assistant referees

Alan Muir (SCO), Calum Murray (SCO)

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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