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Sunday, 18 May 2014 23:03

Benfica complete treble

Rio Ave refuse to lie down but Eagles see out tight Cup final victory

benfica-portuguese-cup-2014.jpgBenfica beat Rio Ave 1-0 in the Portuguese Cup final this afternoon to make it a clean sweep of the domestic trophies in 2013/14. A superb Nico Gaitán goal in the first half proved the winner.

The Eagles welcomed Enzo Pérez and Salvio back into the starting line-up after both players had missed the Europa League final in midweek due to suspension, and a dominant first half from the Lisbon club made it appear the result would be a foregone conclusion.

Nico Gaitán's magnificent 20-yard rasping shot into the top corner gave Benfica the lead midway through the first half, and Garay almost doubled it shortly aftewards with a close-range header, but was denied by a sharp save from Ederson.

Rio Ave were inoffensive in the first half, but the pattern of the match completely changed after the break. The Vila do Conde club started brightly with a fizzing low shot from Tarantini that Oblak saved, and the chance set the tone for the second 45 minutes.

Rio Ave roar back into conention

Nuno Espírito Santo's side grew in confidence and began dominating proceedings against a Benfica team showing evident signs of exhaustion (save the indefatigable Maxi Pereira).

Rio Ave three times in quick succession were inches away from an equaliser as Pedro Santos hit the inside of the post, Oblak made a spectacular save to turn over Braga's shot, and from the resulting corner Marcelo headed a whisker wide of the post with the Slovenian goalkeeper beaten.

Benfica survived and dragged themselves over the line to spark huge celebrations upon the final whistle. It was not exactly the grande finale to a memorable campaign, with the Eagles clinging on desperately at the death, but their fans will not mind one iota as the history books will show that 2013/14 was a season where Benfica were practically unstoppable.

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus said in the post-match press conference: "We are the first team to win all three domestic trophies in Portugal and we only didn't win the Europa League because the referee did not let us."

by Tom Kundert, at the Jamor National Stadium

Benfica:
Oblak, Maxi Pereira, Luisão, Garay, André Almeida, Rúben Amorim (André Gomes, 56’), Salvio, Enzo Pérez, Gaitán (Cardozo, 87’), Rodrigo (Lazar Markovic, 66’), Lima 

Rio Ave:
Ederson, Lionn, Marcelo, Rodríguez, Edimar, Pedro Santos (Hassan, 80’), Tarantini, Filipe Augusto, Ukra, Rúben Ribeiro (Diego Lopes, 67’), Braga (André Vilas Boas, 89’)

Goals:
[1-0] Gaitán, 20'


Comments (8)
O Campeao Voltou!
8 Monday, 19 May 2014 22:52
Danny21/USA
Last season it was um, dois, tres, Benfica falha outra vez, however this season it's um, dois, tres, Benfica GANHA OUTRA VEZ! I wish it was um, dois, tres, quatro, but sadly not even the great Eusebio and Mario Coluna could've convinced Bela Guttman to break his curse. I guess Benfiquista's will have to wait until 2063 to finally win some European silverware, but for now lets enjoy our domestic treble.
Oblak
7 Monday, 19 May 2014 20:20
miklos/Russia
just look at this - 21 clean sheets in 25 games this season.
i don't know how to describe that. unbelievable!!
Congrats from a Portista
6 Monday, 19 May 2014 16:17
Joao/Canada
Congrats to Benfica and the Benfica fans for winning the treble. Very impressive!
Eu So Benfica, Eu So Campeao
5 Monday, 19 May 2014 13:57
NJ/USA/SLB
Fantastic win. We managed to go through the Taca without a loss and didn't give up a goal.
I don't care we ugly it might have been, but this was a must win. A great way to cap off a fantastic campaign. Winning the Domestic Treble was no easy feat, since we played a total of 57 matches. Finishing with a 42-10-5 record and 101-35 goal record, it's not too shabby either.

On a side note, I too like the new kit. Love the continued watermark aspect of it as well. We had the homage to the club with this campaigns Eagle watermark. Next season it will be a homage to the country with the Maritime Compass watermark. Something Portugal is very well know for, having the first Mariner's school/academy. The most famous Maritime Compass is at the Academy in the Fortress at Sagres. There's also one in Lisboa in front of the Monument of Discoveries.

Eu So Benfica
Eu So Campeao
Incredible season!
4 Monday, 19 May 2014 13:34
Andre/UK
To have made a clean sweep of domestic trophies and coming so close to adding a European trophy as well, particularly after all that happened at the end of last season, is sensational. We were by far and away the best team in the country this year and JJ and all the players (and all the fans) really deserve this success for the way they responded to last season's setback.

We should've won the EL final also. Unfortunately we didn't due to a combination of missed chances, suspended players and horrendous refereeing (how we were not awarded one penalty out of 3 quite clear offences in the box is scandalous). I agree with JJ's statement that "The ref did not allow Benfica to win that final". It's ok though, a domestic treble more than makes up for it!

I also agree with Paulo/London, I think for all Benfiquistas, that image on the cover of your book has been quickly forgotten lol! Things are always cyclical in futebol and all the emotions can change entirely in the space of one year. We will see what happens next season, but 2013/14 was the red year in Portugal. Incredible campaign by our team!
Oh!! Sport Lisboa e Benfica, E Campeao
3 Monday, 19 May 2014 12:16
Mdot
What a great season. Won every title in Portugal and an EL final.

The impressive thing is that they did with not having a play in the top 9 goal scorers yet as a team scored the most goals this season. In recent years most clubs have relied on that 1 player that racks up the goals and then leaves. If we do lose 1 or 2 players, it's easier replacing a guy who scores 5-10 goals then it is to replace a 30 goal player. As long as the core of the team is there, they will remain very competitive for next season.

Great way honour Eusebio and Coluna by winning all these titles and bringing to the level of 5th ranked out of all clubs in Europe.

On a side note, loving the new kit that Benfica has started promoting for next season.
A Journey through Portuguese Football update?
2 Monday, 19 May 2014 09:54
Paulo/London
So Tom, when are you releasing your updated book with a picture of Jesus holding up 3 fingers?
Congrats
1 Monday, 19 May 2014 09:52
Monah/ Dubai
Congrats Benfica! well done!

Now portugoal, it's time to switch to the national team mode! Update us on Ronaldo's injury!!! The squad!!!....

I believe it's time isn't it?

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