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Benfica lift cup to seal historic treble

SL Benfica gained consolation for their UEFA Europa League final loss by defeating Rio Ave FC 1-0 to lift the Portuguese Cup and seal a first domestic treble.

Benfica claimed a first ever domestic treble
Benfica claimed a first ever domestic treble ©AFP/Getty Images

SL Benfica secured their 25th Portuguese Cup and a first ever domestic treble by defeating Rio Ave FC 1-0 in the final.

The UEFA Europa League runners-up gained consolation for Wednesday's penalty shoot-out defeat by Sevilla FC and celebrated for the third time this season thanks to Nicolás Gaitán's first-half goal.

Facing the same opponents they disposed of in the Portuguese League Cup final, Benfica started well and dominated in the first half, scoring in the 20th minute as Gaitán's right-footed shot found the net from just outside the box. A few minutes later, Ezequiel Garay almost doubled the lead, only to be denied by a great stop from goalkeeper Ederson Santana de Moraes.

Rio Ave took control after the break and created the better chances, with Pedro Santos hitting the woodwork on the hour mark. Lazar Marković almost made it 2-0 in the 75th minute, however, and although Rio Ave finished the game on top, they could not prevent Benfica lifting the cup.

"The beginning of the season was difficult because of what happened last year, but we found strength where there was not any," said Gaitán. "We played 120 minutes on Wednesday and it was hard, but the team deserved to win today."

"We were dead in the second half," added coach Jorge Jesus. "It was very difficult after the UEFA Europa League final. It could have been four out of four trophies, but it was important to win the three national competitions."