Strong second half helps Benfica get past Lemgo
You do not necessarily need a win to qualify. That is one of the things that Lemgo’s players will remember from their trip to Lisbon.
Despite being defeated by five, the German side will still proceed to the next phase of the competition because of Cocks and Chekhov’s losses tonight.
Benfica took an option on the lead of the group tonight, though, thanks to their second win over Lemgo. It was only in the second half that the hosts increased their advantage to secure their fifth win of the group phase.
GROUP B :
SL Benfica (POR) vs TBV Lemgo Lippe (GER) 35:30 (15:15)
• two goals was the maximum difference between the two teams in the first half, and the visitors enjoyed it early on, before things got levelled for the rest of the period
• Benfica had to wait until the last quarter of the game to really enjoy a breakthrough. The Portuguese side scored three goals in a row between minutes 49 and 52 to take a five-goal advantage
• Sergey Hernandez was key for Benfica, halting nine shots at a 39% efficiency rate in the second half
• after this game, both teams are qualified for the Last 16, with Benfica taking the temporary lead of the group
Sergey Hernandez made the difference
The Spanish goalkeeper entered the game at half-time after seeing his teammate Gustavo Capdeville concede 15 goals. If his performance was not much better on that aspect, Hernandez halted a couple of important shots in the last ten minutes, making nine saves overall in the last 30 minutes of the game. That was enough for Benfica to take the upper hand and never let it go.
It was a very tough game for us after a very difficult game on Sunday. I think it was the spirit of the team, the ability to give everything. The players who play less, like me, were able to support the team and give rest to the more tired players.