THE BALL – Benfica win the U23 derby in style (Liga Revelação)

It was with a show of five goals in total and a balanced result (3-2) that Benfica took over Sporting in the derby that closed the penultimate round of Serie B of Liga Revelação.

It didn’t offer competitive goals, but it was a derby nonetheless. Benfica, with the first place guaranteed, received Sporting, who occupied the last position. Despite the ranking difference, good football was played.

The first half was marked by balance, until Benfica seized the initiative and took the lead on the first glaring scoring chance, in the 18th minute, into a well-defined triangulation down the right. Diogo Spencer advanced on the right and countered with José Marques, who then launched into the box to then “dismiss a Sporting defender” and shoot straight for the first goal of the morning.

Sporting tried to react with transitions, but Benfica maintained their territorial dominance, with several good football moments, but without managing to change the result until the break.

In the second half, Sporting were superior in the first quarter of an hour, without however endangering André Gomes’ goal, and Benfica regained control of the match, even managing to dig the advantage in the 74th minute. After avoiding Benfica’s second goal twice, goalkeeper Diogo Pinto still managed to fend off another attempt, but was unable to cope with Hugo Faria’s rebound at the far post.

Barely four minutes later, Sporting reduced an imbalance created by Rafael Nel. Facing the Benfica goalkeeper, Nicolai Skoglund did not hesitate and launched an exciting final.

In the 88th minute, Benfica made it 3-1, on a mid-range shot from newcomer Tomás Azevedo and, towards the end, Sporting again established the minimum difference, through Lucas Dias.

The victory, this one, remained on the side of the reds, who now total 25 points. For their part, and without having been able to score, Sporting kept the eight added points, thus guaranteeing the last place in the table – they are four points behind Mafra with only one round to play.

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