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Spurs eliminated from Europa at Benfica

Tottenham players look on after Garay nods home for Benfica.
Tottenham players look on after Garay nods home for Benfica.
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur’s chances of advancing in the Europa League were small following a disappointing 3-1 loss at White Hart Lane to Portuguese giants Benfica in the first leg.

Tim Sherwood’s group knew they had to score early to have any chance to overturn the three away goals Benfica registered. Unfortunately for the English side, that didn’t happen.

Instead, the hosts found the back of the net first through a late-arriving Ezequiel Garay that finished with a power header beyond goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The goal moved the aggregate to 4-1 in favor of Benfica, and would require three goals just to force extra time.

Nacer Chadli sparked some life into Spurs with a tremendous finish in the 75th minute. And then Aaron Lennon’s cross found Chadli who placed his shot in the top right-hand corner to move Spurs just one goal away from forcing the tie to continue after 90 minutes.

Gylfi Sigurdsson had a golden opportunity in injury time to nod the visitors level on aggregate, but it was saved. Kane, too, found himself in a similar position, but Jan Oblak was able to collect the ball safely.

The final nail in the coffin was hammered home when Sandro was guilty of a professional foul inside the box on Lima who then calmly slotted home from the spot to seal Benfica’s passage into the final eight of the competition via a 2-2 result.

Benfica team: Oblak, Luisao, Pereira, Siqueira, Garay, Amorim, Gomes, Cardozo, Sulejmani, Djuricic, Salvio.

Tottenham team: Friedel, Rose, Naughton, Fryers, Lennon, Townsend, Chadli, Sigurdsson, Sandro, Bentaleb, Soldado.

Aggregate score: Benfica 5-3 Tottenham

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