O Benfica said goodbye this Friday to the 2021/22 season with a 2-0 victory at Paços de Ferreira, in a match for the 34th and final round of the I Liga.
In a match full of youth on the red side, which intended to do a favor for new coach Roger Schmidt, it was up to Henrique Araújo to score the two goals of the red victory at Mata Real.
Without a goal to achieve this season, and as he had promised in preview of this match, Nélson Veríssimo launched a starting lineup at Mata Real, mainly composed of players trained at Seixal. Henrique Araújo, Tiago Gouveia, Tomás Araújo, Sandro Cruz, Paulo Bernardo and Morato started the match.
And it was even thanks to two players from the red academy that the first goal of the game came after just four minutes. Tiago Gouveia regained possession in midfield, followed up with the ball and isolated Henrique Araújo behind the central defenders. The attacker only had to shoot into the back of the opposing net.
Despite the reds’ first goal, Paços de Ferreira managed to put Benfica in the right direction and forced Hélton Leite, the team’s captain in the farewell game of the season, to make some good saves that kept the game going. goal of the reds to zero.
Daring, the Beavers could reach the equalizer in the 22nd minute and soon thanks to the ex-Benfica Nico Gaitán. Juan Delgado crossed from the right, Gilberto entered the small area against Gaitán and the Brazilian Hélton Leite managed to avoid the goal on the limit. Before, the canary had already canceled a dangerous shot from the Argentinian international.
Paços de Ferreira was on top of the game at this stage and Hélder Ferreira was again testing Hélton Leite’s attention. After easily overtaking Sandro Cruz, the Pacense striker threw a cross at the Brazilian’s good defense. The same beaver tried his luck again in the 44th minute. Gaitán isolated Hélder Ferreira, but Hélton denied the goal with his face.
However, and even on top of the break, Benfica cut the home side’s ascendancy with a goal from Henrique Araújo, who scored twice in the game. The Madeiran took advantage of a cross from Gil Dias and scored his third goal with the jersey of the first team.
The second half began with a move that could have given youngster Henrique Araújo the hat-trick. In the 54th minute, Gil Dias emerged from a good cross from the right and Marco Baixinho managed a providential deflection with a header as Henrique Araújo was about to finish from close range.
The Pacenses showed a lot of courage, like in the first half, and could have reduced the advantage to Mata Real. However, a blunder in the finish prevented César Peixoto’s beavers from scoring a goal against Hélton Leite. Denilson Júnior still fired a shot in the central area that the Canarian defended with his face. Lucas Silva, for his part, threw a ball which passed near the red post.
With the match more than settled, Nélson Veríssimo decided to promote the debut of youngsters Martim Neto and Diego Moreira, who recently became UEFA Youth League champions. Until the end, the eagles mastered the game well and ended the season with a victory.
Overall, Benfica finished the season in third place with 74 points. Paços de Ferreira is ranked tenth with 38 points and could finish the championship in a lower position, depending on the performance of Boavista and Famalicão.
Game time: Good attacking move from Benfica in the design of the first goal. Tiago Araújo made good progress on the wing and served Henrique Araújo who fired in a cross for the second goal of the season in I Liga.
Ferreira Palace: André Ferreira; Fernando Fonseca, Marco Baixinho, Pedro Ganchas, Delgado; Luiz Carlos, Rui Pires; Helder Ferreira, Gaitan, Lucas Silva; Butzke.
Replacements for Paços de Ferreira: Jeimes, Nuno Lima, Bastos, Ibrahim, Matchoi Djalo, Deni Jr., Pio, Maga, Edmilson Mendes.
Benfica: Helton Leite; Gilberto, Morato, Tomás Araújo, Sandro Cruz; Meïte, Paulo Bernardo, João Mário, Tiago Gouveia; Gil Dias and Henrique Araujo
Benfica replaces: Svilar, Kokubo, André Almeida, Vertonghen, Taarabt, Martim Neto, Diogo Gonçalves, Diego Moreira and Yaremchuk.
The duel between Paços de Ferreira and Benfica marks the start of the last round of the I Liga this Friday, in a match almost to fill the calendars of both teams, but which can contribute to consecrate Darwin Núñez as the league’s top scorer.
With a third place already secured, and after another season without titles, the eagles face Paços de Ferreira, currently ranked tenth, who could still have a slight change in the table, up or down, given the little gap between the seventh and the 12th. .
With several starters absent, through suspension, injury or a simple technical option, Nélson Veríssimo called on, among others, youngsters Martim Neto and Diego Moreira, who recently became UEFA Youth League champions and can make their first team debuts .
Uruguayan international Darwin Nuñez is among those who will not play at Mata Real, but he should be crowned top scorer in the I Liga, as he has 26 goals, six more than Iran’s Medhi Taremi.
The match between Paços de Ferreira and Benfica is scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. and you can follow the incidents of the match live on sports by the minute.
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