Fenerbahce vs. Benfica, 2013 UEFA Europa League: Final score 1-0, Turks unlucky not to score mor

Paolo Bruno

It took forever for Fenerbahce to find an opener, and they should have scored many more times against Benfica.

Fenerbahce laid siege to the Benfica goal and had at least a half-dozen clear cut scoring opportunities, but took until the 72nd minute to score a goal. Fortunately for them, they were able to keep Benfica off the scoreboard, and will like their chances to advance to the Europa League final after denying Benfica an away goal. They head to Portugal ahead 1-0.

Moussa Sow was dangerous early on, just barely missing on a pair of chances. He missed a shot just wide of the near post in the 17th minute, then struck the crossbar following a cross by Dirk Kuyt just four minutes later. Just before the stroke of halftime, Benfica were granted a penalty for a shove by Ola John on Gokhan Gonul. The Dutchman was shown a yellow card, and he'll miss the second leg of the tie with a suspension. Christian stepped up to the spot, but struck his penalty off the post to keep the score level heading into halftime.

Kuyt nearly scored in the 53rd minute, and was unlucky to strike his shot off the post. The game opened up with some half-chances at both ends after that, but Fener always looked well on top and like the more likely side to score. They finally got their goal in the 72nd minute, though they needed a bit of help from the referee to set it up in the first place, then spot it. Egemen Korkmaz headed a corner over the line that was nearly cleared, but not until after it had crossed the line. However, the ball appeared to go off Fener striker Pierre Webo, but was given as a corner.

That would be the only goal of the game, with Fener remaining on top for most of the remainder of the game and Benfica never looking much like scoring.

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