Benfica reach the Champions League quarterfinals

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Benfica reach the Champions League quarterfinals


Goncalo Ramos struck twice to help Benfica to a 5-1 Champions League last 16, second leg win. Club Brugge on Tuesday in Lisbon with a 7-1 overall victory.

Ramos, who shot to global fame during the World Cup when he was selected ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal and got a hat-trick against Switzerland, set the stage for Rafa Silva.

The 21-year-old forward then scored two goals either side of half-time to ensure the winners would reach the quarter-finals of the European Cup in successive seasons.

Joao Mario hit the goal to score with his consecutive hand Champions League match – Portuguese great Eusebio was the last player to dominate the action for the club.

David Neres added five for Benfica before Bjorn Meijer scored a stunning consolation.

Roger Schmidt’s merciless side finished top of a group containing heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, making Scott Parker’s new side cheap.

Benfica were beaten just twice all season in all competitions and dominated from the start against the Belgian visitors.

Chiquinho, who took over from Enzo Fernandez in midfield following his Premier League record move to Chelsea in January, returned from injury for the team.

Parker selected Ukrainian Roman Yaremchuk against his former team, and matched Noah Lang to attempt a comeback.

Joao Mario, in scoring goals this season from the center, found a net in just two minutes with a beautiful finish, but could not find the goal in the improvement.

Meijer beat the Portugal centre-back, who headed his effort over the line.

The team eventually took the lead at the Estadio da Luz through Silva after 38 minutes, well picked out in the box by Ramos.

Silva showed good control to carve out a chance with a fine finish to beat former Liverpool striker Simon Mignolet.

Ramos headed home the second before the break after Joao Mario’s header.

He scored a goal on Friday against Famalicao to help the Portuguese league leaders maintain an eight-goal lead and a decision was made in the box.

Ramos cut in from the left before firing himself into the bottom corner, leaving Mignolet with no chance, and scored his 22nd goal of the season in all competitions.

Close behind him at 20 is Joao Mario, who is enjoying the best goalscoring season of his career by far.

The 30-year-old midfielder hit a volley early in the second half.

Brugge, who have now won just two of their last 17 games, were a surprise in the group stage and helped eliminate Atletico Madrid, but were separated by the Eagles.

Ramos got his second before the hour mark with a clinical first-time finish from Alex Grimaldo’s low cross.

Then Joao Mario’s penalty added to the goal after Abakar fouled Sylla Gilberto.

It was the midfielder’s sixth goal of the tournament, pulling him level with Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior as the third-highest scorer, although five came from the spot.

Neres grabbed the fifth goal of the night for Parker and his team, who pulled one back through Meijer, as Benfica proved they won’t push back in the next round. .


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