Beira-Mar vs Benfica Match Preview
Benfica travel to Beira-Mar on Saturday night riding the crest of a wave.
Bruno Cesar has proven a highly successful signing for Benfica
Jorge Jesus’ side have enjoyed a fabulous start to the new campaign, raising hopes among the Benfica faithful that they can recapture the title they won in such exhilarating style in 2009/10, only to have it ruthlessly ripped away from them by a rampant FC Porto last season.
The two bitter rivals are joint top of the Liga ZON Sagres after seven rounds, but while Porto have as yet failed to recapture the blistering form they showed under André Villas-Boas, Benfica have been almost flawless thus far.
A plethora of summer signings have been seamlessly molded into a well-oiled unit, with goalkeeper Artur and midfielders Witsel, Nolito and Bruno Cesar especially impressive.
Still unbeaten in 15 games in all competitions this season, and having won 9 out of their last 11, Benfica will be confident of adding to those impressive statistics in Aveiro. The only modification Jesus will be forced to undertake in relation to the team that won at Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday is at right-back. Uruguayan stalwart Maxi Pereira is out injured. He is likely to be replaced by Ruben Amorim.
Beira-Mar are in the lower reaches of the table and have had chronic problems scoring this season, failing to find the back of the net in seven of their eight matches played. At the other end of the pitch, however, they have an impressive record, conceding only two goals in their seven games thus far.
“Beira-Mar are difficult opponents, like all opponents in the championship. They are competitive and strong. They have the meanest defense,” said Jesus. The coach called on Benfica’s traveling fans to play their part in spurring the Eagles on to victory. “The fans have helped us a lot in our victories. I hope they do so again tomorrow so that we feel like we are playing at the Luz.”
If there is one team in Portugal you would back to breach this watertight Beira-Mar defense, it would be Benfica. Since Jorge Jesus took over at the Estadio da Luz two and a half years ago, Benfica have failed to score in just three of 67 league matches.
Kick off at 8.15pm local time.
Beira-Mar vs Benfica Match Report
A goalkeeping blunder enabled Benfica to squeeze past Beira-Mar in Round 8 of the Liga ZON Sagres.
Benfica were far from their best in Aveiro, but got the three points to remain top of the table and pile pressure on bitter rivals FC Porto.
The Eagles put in a leaden-footed performance that bore the hallmarks of tiredness after their midweek exertions in the Champions League.
It was Beira-Mar who created the better chances throughout the ninety minutes, but poor finishing and more solid goalkeeping from Benfica goalkeeper Artur kept out the hosts.
The winning goal came shortly before half time, with the collaboration of the Beira-Mar goalkeeper Rui Rego. Rego is one of the top goalkeepers in Portugal, but in the 42nd minute his horribly sliced clearance ballooned into the air allowing Oscar Cardozo the easiest of tasks to head into the empty net.
The strike puts Cardozo top of the goalscoring charts in Portugal, with six goals.