Benfica are through to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League after an excellent performance at the Estádio da Luz on Tuesday. Until this second leg match against Zenit St. Petersburg in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie, the Eagles had not won in their last three games, but they were excellent in a 2-0 win that gave them a 4-3 victory on aggregate.
Just before the stroke of halftime, Maxi Pereira scored a goal assisted by an Axel Witsel backheel to put Benfica up 1-0 on the night and through on aggregate. The score was tied at 3-3 at the time, with Benfica having two away goals to Zenit's zero. That goal forced a tactical change from Luciano Spalletti, who brought on Danko Lazovic for Vladimir Bystrov at halftime.
Zenit would have the majority of the possession in the second half, but struggled to create any clear-cut scoring opportunities. Benfica actually had the best chances of the second half even though they didn't have too much of the ball, as they did an excellent job breaking out on the counter.
With Zenit getting desperate at the very end of the game, throwing bodies forward with reckless abandon, Benfica hit back on the counter for the clinching goal. In the 93rd minute, Bruno César and substitute striker Nelson Oliveira took off down the middle with the ball, with César eventually providing the assist to Oliveira. That was virtually the last kick of the ball and was a perfect ending for a Benfica team that was in need of a big result to break their slump.