Vitória denies Jonas injury setback after cup triumph

Benfica took a massive step towards qualification for the Portuguese cup final by defeating Estoril 2-1 at the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota on Tuesday night. Kostas Mitroglou opened the scoring in the 36th minute when he pounced on Andrija Živković’s inviting cross. The home side took just five minutes to hit back, with ex-Porto striker Kléber converting his penalty after Eliseu had handled in the box. Mitroglou continued his incredible goalscoring form to net the winner in the 90th minute, although he looked to be offside from Franco Cervi’s cross.




Vitória expecting a "physical and tactical" battle with Estoril

Benfica make the short trip to the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota on Tuesday night for the first leg of their Portuguese cup semi-final with Estoril. The Canaries’ Spanish coach Pedro Gómez Carmona was appointed in December, and has now been at the helm for 12 matches. His first eight games yielded six defeats, but Rui Vitória has seen signs of improvement in recent weeks.




Squad List: Estoril x Benfica

Rui Vitória has made just one change to his squad ahead of Tuesday night's Portuguese cup clash with Estoril. Luka Jović has been dropped, while January signing Marcelo Hermes has been included to provide another option at left-back.

Álex Grimaldo (abdomen) and Ljubomir Fejsa (ankle) are still sidelined, while André Horta and Lisandro López have been overlooked once again. Jonas is set to make his 100th appearance for the Eagles.

Tuesday's match at the Estádio António Coimbra da Mota begins at 20:15 local time.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Júlio César

Defenders: Luisão, Jardel, André Almeida, Nélson Semedo, Lindelöf, Eliseu and Hermes

Midfielders: Carrillo, Samaris, Pizzi, Cervi, Rafa, Salvio, Filipe Augusto and Živković

Forwards: Jonas, Mitroglou and Raúl




Vitória and Almeida highlight Benfica's team spirit

SL Benfica confirmed their presence in the semi-finals of the Portuguese cup by beating Leixões SC by the convincing scoreline of 6-2 on Wednesday night. Afterwards, head coach Rui Vitória shared his thoughts on the game.

"Our goal was to reach the semi-finals and we were able to do this deservedly, despite the considerable difficulties that Leixões put us through. After the first goal it got a bit easier. It was a clear and deserved win."




Highlights: Benfica 6 - 2 Leixões




Squad List: Benfica x Leixões

Eliseu has returned to the Benfica squad after almost two months out with a thigh complaint. Branimir Kalaica has been promoted from Benfica B, but the Eagles are still without Guillermo Celis (knee), Ljubomir Fejsa (thigh) and Raúl Jiménez (groin). Victor Lindelöf and Eduardo Salvio have both been omitted.

Álex Grimaldo successfully underwent abdominal surgery in Madrid yesterday and could be back in as little as six weeks.

Benfica versus Leixões gets underway at the Estádio da Luz at 20:30 tonight, with a place in the Portuguese Cup semi-finals at stake.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Júlio César

Defenders: Lisandro, Luisão, Eliseu, Jardel, Nélson Semedo, Kalaica and André Almeida

Midfielders: Samaris, André Horta, Carrillo, Pizzi, Zivkovic, Cervi, Rafa Silva and Danilo

Forwards: Jonas, Mitroglou and Gonçalo Guedes




Vitória expecting no favours from Segunda Liga Leixões

Rui Vitória

Benfica take on Leixões at the Estádio da Luz tonight, in the Portuguese Cup quarter-finals. The reward for the winner is a semi-final tie against Estoril, who beat Académica yesterday. Speaking ahead of the game, Rui Vitória made it abundantly clear that the tournament is a major priority for the Eagles.




Jardel relieved to make injury comeback

Benfica booked their place in the Portuguese cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 victory over Real Sport Clube at the Estádio do Restelo on Wednesday night. Real offered some stubborn resistance in the first half, before Kostas Mitroglou broke the deadlock shortly after the break with a point-blank header from Andrija Živković's near-post corner. The Greek striker then doubled the Eagles' advantage from the penalty spot, after Gonçalo Guedes was felled in the box. Raúl Jiménez added a third to continue his fine goalscoring form, netting just three minutes after coming on as a substitute.




Squad List: Real Sport Clube x Benfica

There is a relatively unfamiliar look to Benfica's squad ahead of tonight's Portuguese cup clash with Real Sport Clube. Long-term absentees Eliseu (thigh), Álex Grimaldo (abdomen) and André Horta (thigh) are joined on the sidelines by Eduardo Salvio, who dislocated his right shoulder against Sporting, and Júlio César, who bruised his right shoulder in training.

Jonas is no longer on the injury list, but was not deemed fit enough to participate. Ljubomir Fejsa and Rafa Silva are rested, while 19-year old left-back Yuri Ribeiro and 18-year old striker Luka Jović have both been promoted from Benfica B. Guillermo Celis also returns.

The game at Belenenses' Estádio do Restelo gets underway at 19:00 Portuguese time.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Paulo Lopes

Defenders: Lisandro, Luisão, Lindelof, Jardel, André Almeida, Nélson Semedo and Yuri Ribeiro

Midfielders: Samaris, Carrillo, Živković, Pizzi, Cervi, Celis and Danilo

Fowards: Raúl, Mitroglou, Gonçalo Guedes and Jović




Vitória will make changes but will not underestimate Real Sport Clube

Benfica make the short trip to Belenenses’ Estádio do Restelo tonight, where they will face Real Sport Clube in the fifth round of the Portuguese cup. Real are currently top of Group G in the Campeanato de Portugal, the third tier of the Portuguese football pyramid. To reach this stage, the Queluz-based outfit have eliminated Rabo de Peixe, São Martinho, Arouca and Olhanense. Rui Vitória has warned his players not to underestimate a team that has only conceded four times and lost just once in thirteen league games this season.




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