Portuguese giants Benfica are into the final eight of the Champions League courtesy of tonight’s 2-0 home win which allowed them a 4-3 aggregate over Zenit St Petersburg.
Benfica trailed 3-2 following the first leg in Russia but made inroads when Maxi Pereira opened the scoring at Estadio da Luz in stoppage time of the first half with a nice finish from a clever Axel Witsel backheel.
That goal edged Jorge Jesus’ men ahead on away goals with the visitors struggling to muster much up front with a total of just two shots on target directed at goalkeeper Artur.
Benfica sat deep as the tie looked to be safe but then managed to score a second on the counter in injury time when Nelson Miguel Castro Oliveira slotted home Bruno Cesar’s well-weighted ball to tie up proceedings much to the delight of the home fans as Zenit crash out of the competition.
UEFA Champions League Round of 16 – second leg
Estado da Luz, Lisbon – 46,000
Yellow cards: BEN - Javi Garcia 15’, Nelson Miguel Castro Oliveira 90+3’
ZEN - Alexander Anyukov 5’, Igor Denisov 68’