HomeChampions LeagueBenfica end Juve's Champions League hopes in seven-goal thriller

Benfica end Juve’s Champions League hopes in seven-goal thriller

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group H – Benfica v Juventus – Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal – October 25, 2022 Benfica’s Rafa Silva celebrates scoring their fourth goal with teammates REUTERS/Pedro Nunes

LISBON (Reuters) – Benfica’s Rafa Silva scored two superb goals as they edged Juventus 4-3 in a thriller at Estadio da Luz on Wednesday to seal a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League and end the Italian club’s chances in this year’s competition.

Benfica have 11 points from five games, the same as Group H leaders Paris St Germain, while Juve’s three points leaves them to focus on winning a place in the Europe League, something they can secure on the final matchday when they host PSG.

Teenager Antonio Silva scored his first Benfica goal to give the home side the lead after 17 minutes, but Juventus drew level when Moise Kean bundled the ball home four minutes later.

Benfica were back in front thanks to a controversial penalty that was converted by Joao Mario before Rafa Silva appeared to make the points safe with two sublime finishes, either side of the break, that perfectly illustrated his technique and guile.

But the visitors pulled a goal back late on through Arkadiusz Milik after he was set up by young English winger Samuel Iling, and the latter was key again in creating a chance for Weston McKennie to score Juve’s third.

That saw a tense finish on a night when Benfica looked as though they would humiliate their visitors but had to hold on as Rafa Silva missed out on a hat-trick by hitting the post.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)