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FC Twente Vs. Benfica, UEFA Champions League Playoff Round: Ruiz Heads Home To Earn Draw

It’s finished FC Twente 2-2 SL Benfica in Enschede, with Bryan Ruiz nodding home an equaliser in the second half to keep Twente in with a shout of progressing to the group stages.

In the first half, it was the Dutch side who opened the scoring, after Luuk De Jong finished a galloping midfield run with a 25-yard stunner into the top corner. But soon after, Benfica scored a screamer of their own, after good work from Pablo Aimar led to Oscar Cardozo making a similar run and long-range finish.

Afterwards, Benfica took the lead, taking advantage of some lax passing from Twente to mount a crisp, flowing counter-attack which was finished off by Nolito after Alex Witsel had sensibly squared to him whilst through on goal.

But after the break, though Benfica continued to look dangerous going forward, FC Twente pressed far more effectively, with substitute Ola John a creative spark, his pacy runs down the left-wing and crossing causing Benfica serious problems.

The Portuguese side were indebted to their goalkeeper Artur on several occasions, after he pulled off a number of good saves, capped by an incredible stop when he saved De Jong’s effort after he was found by Luiz’s cross.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Harry Redknapp was spotted in the crowd, reported to be watching Twente’s Bryan Ruiz, although on the 60 minute mark one could’ve been forgiven for thinking he was watching the wrong man, as Oscar Cardozo continued to shine at the head of the Benfica attack, with his intelligent runs giving him space time and time again, forcing Mihalyov into a good save as he tested him with a powerful shot from an acute angle.

In the end, though, Ruiz ensured that the Spurs boss had not made a wasted journey, as he headed home the equaliser. John was able to provide the telling contribution, with a good run and cross which the Costa Rican headed in at the back post. Despite Benfica’s protestations, who felt that Ruiz had climbed over the defender to reach the ball, the goal stodd, and FC Twente have more than a shout of getting through to the group stages when they play the second leg in Lisbon.