Benfica win Group C
Oscar Cardozo's seventh minute goal was enough for Benfica to defeat Otelul Galati 1-0 and win UEFA Champions League Group C.
Last Updated: 07/12/11 10:30pm
Oscar Cardozo's seventh minute goal was enough for Benfica to defeat Otelul Galati 1-0 in Portugal and win UEFA Champions League Group C.
The Paraguayan striker's tap-in from a Nicolas Gaitan pass proved to be the difference between the two teams at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on Wednesday.
The result means that Portuguese giants Benfica progress to the last 16 of the premier European club competition as winners of their group with 12 points, while Galati end their Champions League campaign without getting off the mark.
Cardozo got the home side off the mark after midfielder Axel Witsel combined with Gaitan, who pulled back to the unmarked goalscorer allowing the striker to finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
It marked a period of dominance for Benfica but Galati regained some momentum at the end of the half with a couple of good attempts on goal of their own.
Benfica midfielder Pablo Aimar went close in the 13th minute with a testing inswinging corner which was caught by Galati goalkeeper Branko Grahovac.
Laurentiu Iorga tested Benfica's defence soon after when his long-range free-kick was saved by Artur in one of Galati's rare attacks.
Galati defender Ioan Filip then made a goalline clearance at the near post from Gaitan's corner before Bruno Cesar's speculative long-range shot missed Grahovac's net.
Gaitan had another long-range shot denied just after half an hour before Galati went close twice in two minutes.
Gabriel Paraschiv's shot from the centre of the area was blocked by Artur before Gabriel Giurgiu's lobbed effort was cleared by Emerson.
Galati striker Liviu Antal then forced the Benfica keeper into another save as the clock ticked down to half-time.
After the break, Bruno Cesar's volley from the left of the area was saved by Grahovac before Cardozo missed a golden chance to double Benfica's lead in the 55th minute when he headed Witsel's cross over the bar from close range.
Javi Garcia and Witsel both tried their luck with long range efforts before Benfica substitute striker Nolito was twice denied with 15 minutes left on the clock.
It did not matter though, as the Portuguese side had done enough to progress to the knockout stages.
|Benfica||Team Statistics||Otelul Galati|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||4|
|5||Shots off Target||3|
|68.6||1st Half Poss.||31.4|
|51.4||2nd Half Poss.||48.6|