Newcastle vs. Benfica, 2013 Europa League: Final score 1-1 (2-4), Benfica advance with draw

Paul Thomas

Although Papiss Cisse gave Newcastle a glimmer of hope, Benfica were ultimately too good to let the Magpies make it to the Europa League semifinals.

Benfica are through to the Europa League semfinals after a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United at St. James' Park. Holding a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Portugal, the Eagles didn't have to worry about much for most of the game -- although Papiss Cisse got the hosts to within a goal in the 71st minute, there was never too much pressure on Artur's goal, and an injury time strike from Eduardo Salvio killed off the tie and preserved the visitors' unbeaten streak.

Newcastle were on the back foot for most of the first half, managing just two shots, both from range, before the break. They did get the ball in the net through Cisse, who'd hit the post twice in Lisbon, but his volley was ruled out for offside, as was a second in the 66th minute. But the breakthrough came in short order as Cisse converted a Shola Ameobi cross, leaving the Magpies with some faint hope of making it through.

That hope was dashed by a combination of poor refereeing, poor decision making and poor finishing and then, finally, Salvio's late strike, which saw the Benfica man smash an Oscar Cardozo pass beyond Tim Krul in the 91st minute. That was all it took to see the visitors through, but Newcastle can take heart that if not for a few unlucky bounces over the course of 180 minutes, it might have been then going to the semifinals.

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