Benfica beat Fenerbahçe 1-0 in the firsthand of the Champions League third pre-qualifying round with Cervi's 69th-minute goal. Portuguese team will defend the minimum advantage in the second leg in Istambul, in a week
More than 40 million euros are involved - the minimum value for the team that wins access to the group stage of the Champions League. And Benfica is on the edge of reaching that goal thanks to Cervi's 69th-minute goal. The result is short, but the Portuguese team showed more arguments to win the match.
Fenerbahçe, the team that finished second place in the Turkish league, hardly bothered Benfica's defense, but proved to have a consistent squad, capable of stopping Benfica's offensive tactics.
During the first half, even without great football moments, Benfica proved to be the better team but could not get passed the goalkeeper Volkan Demirel. The scenario remained after the interval, but in this period Benfica was stronger and more dangerous, creating some occasions to score. The goal appeared in the feet of Cervi.
The winner will face either PAOK (Greece) or Spartak Moscow (Russia) in the final play-off.
Benfica's eleven: Vlachodimos; André Almeida, Rúben Dias, Jardel and Grimaldo; Pizzi, Fejsa and Gedson Fernandes; Salvio, Ferreyra and Cervi.
Fenerbahçe's eleven: Volkan Demirel; Isla, Neustadter, Skrtel and Hasan Ali; Mehmet Topal, Elmas and Giuliano; Nabil Dirar, Alper Potuk and Valbuena.