Benfica defeated SC Braga (2-0), in a match of the 9th round of the qualification phase of the BPI League, which took place this Sunday afternoon, at the Estádio 1.º de Maio , in Braga, and thus took a giant step towards the title.
It was the perfect response from Filipa Patão’s men to the defeat suffered last Wednesday, against the same opponent, and which earned the team managed by João Marques the conquest of the League Cup (victory on penalties, after the 0-0 recorded in regulation time).
The eagles came better, they built goal situations that they could not reach, and the 34th minute could have complicated the accounts of Filipa Patão’s team. All because, at that moment, Francisca Nazareth, in a ball dispute with Vanessa Marques, lifted her foot too far and (unintentionally) hit the captain of SC Braga, driving Ana Amorim, referee of the match, to him show the direct red card. .
However, and contrary to what one might have expected, Benfica, even reduced to 10 units, finished the first half even better, managing, in the last moments, to score the two goals of the victory. In the 43rd minute, Lúcia Alves crossed from the left side, Valéria Cantuário took the shot to save Patrícia Morais, but on the rebound, Cloé Lacasse did not forgive and opened the scoring. Shortly after, already in compensation, and following another cross from Lúcia Alves from the left, Ana Vitória takes advantage of a poor clearance from Catarina Pereira and shoots for the 2-0.
In the complementary phase, and despite the balance, the best chances of goals went to the Reds, but the efficiency was not the best and the result did not evolve. Also note the expulsion of Ana Filipa Ribeiro, a young player from the Minho warriors, who entered at half-time and received two yellow cards in just six minutes (56 and 62), leaving the two teams tied.
Benfica (which went on without conceding a goal in this qualifying phase for the champions) reached eight victories in as many games, thus adding 24 points, reinforcing 1st place in the standings, with a three-point advantage over Sporting, with the the Eagles still have one game less. SC Braga remain in 6th place, with 10 points.
In the next round, Benfica will host Torreense (April 16, 3 p.m.), while SC Braga will travel to Länk Vilaverdense (April 2, 11 a.m.). Before that, however, the Arsenalistas will play at Sporting’s home ground (this Wednesday, 3.30pm), in a game for the first leg of the Portuguese Cup semi-finals – the other semi-final will be between Famalicão and Amora.