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Sunday, 24 August 2014 22:43

Eliseu cannonball wrecks Boavista return


Match report: Boavista 0-1 Benfica

Benfica ruined ten-man Boavista's homecoming at the Estadio do Bessa last night courtesy of a wonderful Eliseu strike on the stroke of half-time. 

Boavista played their first top flight fixture at home for six years on Sunday - and put in a hard-working, tenacious display despite being outclassed. 

A spiky contest saw Benfica dominate the ball for large swathes of the game without ever looking entirely comfortable - and there was almost a twist in the tail: Boavista substitute Brito's goal disallowed inside the last ten minutes. 

The visitors were clearly incensed by some of the decisions made by referee Marco Ferreira, who also sent off Boavista centre forward Bobo late on.  

Carnival atmosphere

With the sun blazing down on a stand emblazoned with a rainbow, it was fitting that Boavista's players stepped onto their home pitch prior to kick off to soak up a carnival atmosphere. 

The Bessa had been given a lick of paint in preparation for its big day, but the stadium still retained something of the feel of a house hastily tidied for the visit of important guests. 


And what distinguished visitors had travelled north: Benfica, ever-present diners at the top table of Portuguese football and current holders of a domestic Grand Slam.  


Boavista, meanwhile, were just grateful that legal smallprint had swung forcefully in their favour, and that they were back in the league they famously won back in 2001.


The Panteras' manager, Petit, was part of that Championship winning squad back then, but realistically knows his side are very unlikely to gatecrash the party at the top of the table this season. 

New look Panthers

Petit's squad has undergone more cosmetic change than Donatella Versace this summer and many of the players milling around the centre circle were making their home debut. Centre-forward Bobo and winger Julian were notable exceptions, but little was known about the majority of those starting the game in black and white, even by Boavista fans. 


The opening minutes of the match passed without incident - much to the delight of Boavista who shipped a goal two minutes into their league campaign against Braga last weekend. 


The hosts were understandably cagey given the quality of their opposition, while Benfica were taking their time to weigh up unknown adversaries. 


Reluctant to play through the congested centre of the pitch, Benfica probed out wide Eliseu whipping in a cross that saw Jara onside and in space, but unable to accept the invitation. 


Although the champions were dominating the ball, they looked rather one-paced in possession and Boavista were happy to let Luisao, in particular, waste the ball playing out of defence. 


Benfica's Brazilian Under-20 international Talisca tried to inject some life into proceedings with a snapshot on 22 minutes, but his ungainly effort flew over Daniel Moullor's bar into Boavista's jeering fans.  

Eliseu thunderbolts

However, Eliseu soon followed Talisca's lead with a cannonball of a shot that Moullor unconvincingly palmed to safety, with Nico Gaitan going close soon after with a scrambled effort.


The hosts were scampering and closing down to good effect, but, offensively, they were almost a non-existent force. Boavista midfielder Diego Lima took the bull by the horns on the half hour mark, though, bursting through a challenge to release Brayan Beckeles down the right. The Honduran's quality let him down though, the midfielder zipping the ball into Artur's grateful clutches.


Benfica had appeals for a penalty turned down soon after when Jara looked to be clipped surging into the box. However, referee Marco Ferreira booked Jara for a dive much to the consternation of Benfica coach Jesus and the travelling hordes. 


The mood in the visiting stand improved greatly on 44 minutes, however, when they took the lead through Eliseu. Benfica recycled the ball after a lofted Gaitan free-kick and Eliseu powered home a great strike from outside the box via the post. 

Jesus leaves pitchside

Half-time came with Petit consoling his troops and Jesus ushering one of his assistants, who was busy heckling referee Marco Ferreira, down the tunnel. 


The second half got underway without Jesus in Benfica's technical area. On the pitch, the game remained fairly low key, but Boavista were starting to create a few promising offensive situations, with Idrissa and Tengarrinha working doggedly to give them a platform in midfield. 


However, Benfica's greater attacking threat was still obvious Talisca forcing Moullor into a good stop and Gaitan lobbing over the frame of the goal after a lovely through ball from Almeida on 67 minutes. 

Disallowed goal; Bobo dismissed

Benfica's backline had been seemingly in cruise control, but they received a huge fright with just 10 minutes remaining when a ball was cleared to Boavista substitute Brito, who smacked home a fantastic effort. The home crowd's joy was shortlived, however, as a linesman's flag cancelled out the strike. 


Boavista striker Bobo had gamefully put himself about, but his night ended prematurely with less than ten minutes left, after an attempt to handle the ball earned him a second booking. 


However, rather than seeing out the game comfortably, Benfica looked rather rattled as the game reached its end, Reds players punting the ball aimlessly upfield rather than make their extra man pay. 


There was time left for Lima to fire wide and another Boavista substitute, Pouga, to slot past Artur, only to be rightfully flagged for being a country mile offside. 


The final whistle went and the points went back to the capital with a Benfica side who have taken maximum points from their opening two games.


Boavista, meanwhile, showed steel and spirit in a match that was never going to define their season; far more important for them will be how they fare against less illustrious opposition.  

by Stephen Gillett

Moullor; Dias (Brito); Lucas; Philip Sampaio; Anderson Correia; Julian (Yoro Ly); Tengarrinha; Idrissa; Lima (Pouga); Bobo. Unused subs: Santos; Mika; Carvalho; Ancelmo Jr


Artur: Luisao; Amorim (Almeida); Gaitan (Derley); Lima; Maxi; Salvio; Eliseu; Jara (John); Talisca; Jardel. Unused subs: Lopes; Lisandro; Pizzi; Tiago


[0-1] Eliseu, 44'

Comments (6)
@ NJ
6 Wednesday, 27 August 2014 15:43
I did not know nor hear that. I merely saw pictures of JJ being uncomfortable around an older Boavista fan who had the classic old-Portuguese man look of ball-breaking. I think we know older Portuguese men are unrivaled in the art of breaking balls. Most of their sentences begin with, "Eh pa, quer dizer, podes ter razao, mas.... acho que ainda tens muito para apprender..."

If it is true that he was spit at and upon, then that is indeed sad and unacceptable. Passion is one thing, but being classless cannot be excused.

Either way, the FPF (shockingly!) excused JJ and he will be on the sidelines yelling and gesticulating wildly at his players against Sporting on Sunday. Don't like the guy, but at least that will be entertaining and make the game more interesting.

Sad Add On
5 Wednesday, 27 August 2014 13:06
Not sure I would call what took place in he stands harassment. By all accounts. JJ was spit at and on.

For all the bravado and so called fandom, more then a few fans ruin it fur everyone else.
Regular people can't even attend some games Italy and the same is occurring in Spain, Portugal, Turkey..,
People called passion. I call idiocy and criminal. Passion doesn't mean spitting or throwing objects at rival fans, golf balls no less. We just had a player die in Africa , Cameron international, due to getting hit by an object while playing. Fir people who say, that was Africa, I wonder what would have happened if a Benfica, Sporting, Porto... player would have been hit by a golf ball on the temple.
Sadly it may take a death in irder to bring peace. Unfortunately due to past history it would only bring further violence before peace.
Credit to Petit and the players
4 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:28
They really stepped it up and were well organised. Boavista spent some dough signing something like 20 new players so I hope they stay up and do mid-table work.

Benfica were decent, but you could tell they were missing some of that creative spark. I've always found JJ highly overrated but if he can manage 2nd place or higher this season with the amount of squad changes, I'll have to admit he's a good coach.

It was hilarious to see him ejected and harassed by the Axedrezado fans in this game. His facial expressions were priceless.

Still not sure why Steven Vitoria gets no love, Bebe gets no starting privileges (he was magnificent last year and had he remained on Pacos, Paulo Fonseca would have made him a star). JJ really does not care about Portuguese people. Lol.
3 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:04
I actually feel differently then most. Boavistas performance does not bode well fir the league. Benfica should have dispatched of Boavista very easy, yet had to fight it out verse a third division club. People need to remember that Boavista wasn't even in line to get promoted to the second division. They may have added pieces, but are they first league quality? Even if they are, the remainder is most definitely not.
Poor showing by Benfica. Hopefully not much energy was wasted.

Happy to see "Os Pasteis de Nata" get off to a great start. You could say the same about Guimaraes and Rio Ave. very early and all three could stumble badly, but the start might bode well towards confidence.
boavista played well
2 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 05:41
If you didnt watch the game you would think this was a bad performance from benfica and even though they didnt play great, it was more about the level that Boavista played at. They seemed to step up and played Benfica tough and scrapped throughout the game. They played very defensive and never really had a chance to score. If they put this effort into every game they will surprise people, they problem is usually teams show up to play Benfica and not so much everyone else but i guess we'll see.
1 Monday, 25 August 2014 17:38
Happy Benfica Won but thought they should have won by a larger margin. Only saw the highlights but the fact that Boavista managed to compete is a good sign for Portuguese football. Even though I like Benfica the most, I have respect for and enjoy watching other clubs and I would like to see Boavista succeed again.The fact that they did not win they're first two games is probably not a reflection on the outcome of they're season. Those first two were two of they're hardest games and I think they're goal or this year is probably first and foremost not to get relegated.

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