SL Benfica did not falter with their target in sight as they strode through to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals with victory at FC Girondins de Bordeaux, two-goal Óscar Cardozo making the difference on the night.
The only club left flying the flag for Portugal in Europe – and 1-0 victors in the round of 16 first leg – Benfica doubled their aggregate lead through Jardel on 30 minutes. Cheick Diabaté rattled in Bordeaux's first goal of the tie with 16 minutes to go, but the Eagles retook the advantage seconds later through substitute Cardozo. The Paraguay forward then clinched his double in added time following a late Jardel own goal.
Francis Gillot's charges set about their task with belief and commitment, looking to hurt their visitors via battering-ram forward Diabaté, who headed over an early Mariano cross. Meanwhile, Nicolas Maurice-Belay buzzed with intent on the left and the No19 forced Artur to palm his low shot wide, with Benfica's goalkeeper then denying Henri Saivet from the resulting corner.
Benfica had not come merely to defend, however, and Cédric Carrasso needed to save with his legs after Eduardo Salvio was released by Nicolás Gaitán. It was increasingly clear that Bordeaux could not afford any mistakes, but their resistance lasted only half an hour as Carrasso came out to claim an Ola John corner and missed – leaving Jardel free to nod in.
Les Marine et Blanc now required three goals to prevail, and Diabaté twice went close before Grégory Sertic opted to cross instead of shoot after the restart. The hosts never let their heads drop, though, and Diabaté finally got them on the scoresheet when he thrashed the ball into the far corner from the right after Jardel had failed to control a long ball.
If that gave Bordeaux's fans hope, it was snuffed out again just as quickly as Cardozo stepped inside Henrique and finished calmly in front of goal. The No7 then repeated the trick with another composed strike after Jardel had deflected the ball into his own net at the other end.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.