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Benfica fight back to progress and eliminate Astana

Published: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 18.45CET
Astana 2-2 Benfica
Raúl Jiménez scored twice in Kazakhstan as the Group C pacesetters came from two goals down to rescue a point and reach the round of 16.
Benfica fight back to progress and eliminate Astana
Astana's Nemanja Maksimović vies with Andreas Samaris of Benfica during the Group C draw ©Getty Images

Match statistics

AstanaBenfica

Goals scored2
 
2
Possession (%)41
 
59
Total attempts11
 
17
on target5
 
8
off target4
 
6
blocked2
 
3
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners3
 
4
Offsides2
 
1
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed13
 
13
Fouls suffered12
 
10
Passes301
 
491
completed223
 
416

Standings

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
Last updated: 20/11/2017 15:48 CET
SSI Err
Published: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 18.45CET

Benfica fight back to progress and eliminate Astana

Astana 2-2 Benfica
Raúl Jiménez scored twice in Kazakhstan as the Group C pacesetters came from two goals down to rescue a point and reach the round of 16.

  • Group C frontrunners Benfica come from 2-0 down in Kazakhstan
  • Patrick Twumasi and Marin Aničić give Astana two-goal cushion
  • Raúl Jiménez scores twice, once in each half, to earn draw
  • Benfica through after Atlético Madrid's win against Galatasaray; Astana eliminated
  • Final Group C games: Galatasaray v Astana, Benfica v Atlético (8 December)

Raúl Jiménez struck twice in Kazakhstan as Group C pacesetters Benfica recovered from two goals down to rescue a point and eliminate Astana from the UEFA Champions League in the process.

Needing a victory to maintain their hopes, the hosts – accustomed to the frosty conditions – caught Benfica cold with two goals inside 31 minutes. Patrick Twumasi became Astana's first ever scorer in the group stage before Marin Aničić doubled the advantage. However, Jiménez reduced the deficit late in the first half before netting a second after the break to claim a draw.

Despite missing injured captain Luisão and suspended playmaker Nicolás Gaitán, the Eagles travelled to the Kazakhstani capital in confident mood knowing three points would clinch progress. Indeed, Rui Vitória's side dominated the early exchanges with Jardel and Gonçalo Guedes going close.

Matchday one: Benfica 2-0 Astana

But, against the run of play, the Kazakh title holders got the opener with their first effort on target. Twumasi met Junior Kabananga's whipped cross from the left at the back post before nodding past Júlio César. Then, on 31 minutes, Aničić stunned the overnight section leaders by diverting Foxi Kéthévoama's left-wing free-kick into the bottom-right corner from close range.

Goalkeeper Nenad Erić dived to his left to parry Pizzi's swerving 34th-minute attempt as the visitors looked for a way back into the contest. Six minutes later, the Portuguese outfit grabbed a lifeline when Mexican international Jiménez darted to the front post to send a powerful header into the top-right corner.

The away team carried that momentum into the second half with Guedes and Jonas missing decent opportunities before completing the turnaround on 72 minutes. Substitute André Almeida surged down the right before finding Jiménez who guided the cross into the far corner.

Vote for your Team of 2015

Moments earlier Júlio César had kept Benfica alive, sticking out a leg to block Kabananga's low strike. Despite pushing for a late winner the Eagles could not find the victory that would have guaranteed qualification – but it mattered little as Atlético Madrid's later triumph over Galatasaray ensured they and the Lisbon outfit will advance. By contrast Stanimir Stoilov's Astana, still unbeaten at home, exited the competition.

Reaction
Stanimir Stoilov, Astana coach
I think today was a really good performance from us. We scored goals and did everything we could to win, though we're disappointed not to have scored a third to secure the victory. However, even if we had lost I would have been happy because the team showed they can play football at the highest European level.

Rui Vitória, Benfica coach
It was a really tough game for us – nobody has had an easy match here. Astana caused us major difficulties but we got the point that keeps us on track and we are satisfied with the result. The most important thing was that the boys who came off the bench played well.

©AFP/Getty Images

©Getty Images

©AFP/Getty Images

©AFP/Getty Images

©Getty Images

Last updated: 26/11/15 0.45CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2016/matches/round=2000634/match=2015742/postmatch/report/index.html#benfica+through+astana

Lineups

astana

Astana

benfica

Benfica

1
ErićNenad Erić (GK)
12
Júlio CésarJúlio César (GK)
5
AničićMarin Aničić
Goal31
2
Lisandro LópezLisandro López
Yellow Card44
6
MaksimovićNemanja Maksimović
7
SamarisAndreas Samaris
Substitution65
10
KéthévoamaFoxi Kéthévoama (C)
Substitution87
9
JiménezRaúl Jiménez
Yellow Card23
Goal40
Goal72
11
MuzhikovSerikzhan Muzhikov
17
JonasJonas
Yellow Card48
Substitution80
23
TwumasiPatrick Twumasi
Goal19
Substitution90+1
19
EliseuEliseu
33
B. IlićBranko Ilić
20
Gonçalo GuedesGonçalo Guedes
44
PostnikovEvgeni Postnikov
21
PizziPizzi
77
ShomkoDmitri Shomko
28
SílvioSílvio
Substitution65
88
CañasRoger Cañas
Yellow Card50
33
JardelJardel (C)
89
KabanangaJunior Kabananga
Substitution84
85
Renato SanchesRenato Sanches

Substitutes

85
LoginovskiVladimir Loginovski (GK)
1
EdersonEderson (GK)
2
Y. AkhmetovYeldos Akhmetov
11
MitroglouKostas Mitroglou
8
ZhukovGeorgi Zhukov
Substitution87
24
CristanteBryan Cristante
Substitution80
9
SchetkinAleksei Schetkin
Substitution84
Yellow Card90+4
30
TaliscaTalisca
Substitution65
15
BeysebekovAbzal Beysebekov
34
André AlmeidaAndré Almeida
Substitution65
20
KozhamberdyZhakyp Kozhamberdy
38
Nuno SantosNuno Santos
24
DedechkoDenys Dedechko
Substitution90+1
39
Carcela-GonzálezMehdi Carcela-González

Coach

Stanimir Stoilov (BUL) Rui Vitória (POR)

Referee

Ruddy Buquet (FRA)

Assistant referees

Guillaume Debart (FRA), Cyril Gringore (FRA)

Fourth official

Laurent Stien (FRA)

Additional assistant referees

Tony Chapron (FRA), Amaury Delerue (FRA)

Legend:

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