The official website for European football

Benfica squeeze past valiant Spurs

Published: Thursday 20 March 2014, 21.05CET
SL Benfica 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur FC (agg: 5-3)
Ezequiel Garay opened the scoring and although Nacer Chadli struck twice late on, Lima's penalty sealed the Eagles' progress.
by Josh Hershman
from Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica

This content is streamed in such a way that it is protected and available only in a Flash format. Your device seems not to be compatible with our Flash video player.

SSI Err

Standings

 
Published: Thursday 20 March 2014, 21.05CET

Benfica squeeze past valiant Spurs

SL Benfica 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur FC (agg: 5-3)
Ezequiel Garay opened the scoring and although Nacer Chadli struck twice late on, Lima's penalty sealed the Eagles' progress.

SL Benfica remain on course for a second consecutive UEFA Europa League final after squeezing past Tottenham Hotspur FC to reach the quarter-finals.

With a 3-1 lead to defend from last week's round of 16 opener, Benfica looked assured in possession and their advantage was rarely threatened until the last 12 minutes. Ezequiel Garay's 34th-minute header made it 4-1 on aggregate, yet two Nacer Chadli goals made for a nervy finish until Lima kept his cool from the spot to book the Eagles' place in Friday's draw.

Buoyed by their impressive first-leg display and a ten-game unbeaten run at home in Europe stretching back to October 2012, Benfica started in confident fashion with Luisão, who scored twice at White Hart Lane, heading over from close range. The visitors soon found their feet, though, and could have gone in front in the 15th minute when Gylfi Sigurdsson's corner found its way to an unmarked Robert Soldado at the far post but the forward volleyed into the ground and over the bar.

Indeed, Soldado and Chadli began to link up well for Tottenham with the former seeing his strike deflected over before the latter nodded wide from a corner inside the half-hour mark. However, just as Tim Sherwood's charges were building momentum Benfica went ahead, scoring for the 26th consecutive match in all competitions. Eduardo Salvio evaded the attentions of Aaron Lennon on the right and clipped in a cross for Garay to power a header past Brad Friedel.

Chances were few and far between after the break until the introduction of Harry Kane. Soldado's replacement flicked a long pass into the path of Chadli and the Belgian international cut in from the right to fire beyond Jan Oblak. Just a minute later, the same combination worked for Spurs as Kane's cushioned header fell kindly for Chadli to smash in from close range.

Tottenham had renewed belief and threw men forward late on. They almost forced extra time through Sigurdsson and Kane headers but Oblak was equal to both. In added time, substitute Lima picked himself up after being fouled in the area and put the tie beyond doubt from the spot. Jorge Jesus's men march on.

Last updated: 07/04/14 17.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000471/match=2012665/postmatch/report/index.html#benfica+squeeze+past+spurs

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE word, the UEFA Europa League logo and the UEFA Europa League trophy are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.