Champions League

Benfica survive Astana scare

2015-09-16 07:49
Kostas Mitroglou (AFP)

Lisbon - Champions League debutants Astana gave Benfica some worrying moments as they held out until  half-time and then hit the post before going down to a 2-0 defeat in their opening Group C match on Tuesday.

Nicolas Gaitan burst through the Astana defence to provide the breakthrough six minutes into the second half and Kostas Mitroglu made the points safe for the Eagles in front of a sparse crowd at the Stadium of Light.

But Astana, the first Kazakh team to reach the group stage, will have plenty of positives to reflect on as they make the 7 000 kilometre trip back to Central Asia.

The Kazakh champions kept Benfica at bay for the first 45 minute with some solid defending, plus two last-gasp saves by goalkeeper Nenad Eric who denied Jonas with his leg on both occasions.

In between, Benfica goalkeeper Julio Cesar give home fans the jitters as he fumbled Foxi Kethevoama's curling free kick before gathering the ball at the second attempt.

Astana nearly took a sensational lead at the start at the second half when Aleksei Schetkin, who had just come on as a substitute, got between Jardel and Luisao to poke an effort against Julio Cesar's post.

Gaitan ended their resistance when he latched onto a loose ball, powered his way through a gap between the defenders and placed an angled shot past Eric in the far corner.

Mitroglu, having headed wide from eight metres, atoned for the miss when he turned in Eliseu's cross from close range following another move down the left in the 62nd minute to secure the points for the Portuguese champions.

Read more on:    benfica  |  champions league  |  nicolas gaitan  |  soccer

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
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