Nearly 61,000 spectators at the Estádio da Luz witnessed a furious match in which Salzburg took the lead thanks to a penalty kick by Roko Simic in the 15th minute. Oscar Gluch (51.) increased the score after the break for the visitors from Austria, who had been numerically superior since the penalty kick following Antonio’s red card. Silva. Benfica were far from turning things around until the final whistle.
In the parallel match in Group D, Real Sociedad and Inter Milan tied 1-1 (1-0) in San Sebastian. Marko Arnautovic made his debut for the Italian team, but was substituted in the 55th minute. Brice Mendes had already scored for the Basques in the fourth minute, before Lautaro Martinez equalized in the 87th minute.
The Bulls got off to a strong start and did not give the Benfica fans a break from their nerves. After just 1:22 minutes, referee Halil Umut-Miller pointed to the penalty kick for the first time because goalkeeper Anatolij Trubin hit Salzburg’s Strahinja Pavlovich in the head amid the turmoil of the penalty area. But Karim Konate fired the penalty kick well above the goal.
The two teams searched for salvation offensively, and Salzburg put high pressure on Benfica. However, the Portuguese often managed to free themselves from the clutches of their compound game. In the 12th minute, Joao Mario wanted to take advantage of his opportunity inside the penalty area, but he settled for shooting the left post. In return, Simic darted up and away. After a touch from Tropin, the ball raced towards goal and hit the crossbar, then Antonio Silva played it with his hand outside the danger area – a clear penalty. The central defender also received a red card. Konate was ready to shoot the ball.
This time his strike partner Simic came from the penalty spot and converted a flat shot into the right corner to give Salzburg the lead. Benfica then sought to equalize mainly through record situations. In the 25th minute, there was Alexander Schlager from a direct free-kick from Angel Di Maria, and seven minutes later the ÖFB goalkeeper headed a corner kick from the Argentine world champion wide.
After the break, Salzburg took control again and stormed into Troppen’s goal. After a poor pass in the home team’s warm-up match, Maurits Kjergaard passed the ball to Simic, who was marking the running Galuch. The Israeli has already taken a relatively comfortable lead. However, Benfica did not give up even with ten men, as Schlager showed another impressive performance in the 66th minute with a header from Joao Neves.
Only with the passage of time did the power of the Portuguese diminish. On the other hand, Salzburg did not give up and continued to play aggressively forward. In the 77th minute, the visitors had a double chance through Ammar Didic and Kjaergaard. After 95 minutes the away win was perfect.
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