FC Porto beat Benfica and need a draw to be champions

The Clásico at the Dragão Arena is in place for the FC Porto team

FC Porto was today closer to revalidating the title of national handball champion, isolating itself in the leadership with a 32-28 victory at the reception at Benfica, in a meeting of the 28th and penultimate round of the championship.

At the Dragão Arena in Porto, the national champions already won at half-time by 19-15 and showed irrepressible consistency for 60 minutes, beating the only rival who had denied them invincibility in the competition (defeat by 33-36, in the 13th round).

Croatian Ivan Sliskovic was the game’s top scorer, brightening up his last home game for the ‘Blues and Whites’ with seven goals, while Alexis Borges and Germany’s Ole Rahmel, both with six, stood out for the “eagles”.

FC Porto took the isolated lead, with 82 points, and were one draw away from winning the third league in the past four seasons – the competition was canceled in 2019/20, due to the covid-19 pandemic -, because they have the advantage in direct confrontation against their rivals Benfica, second, with 80 (one game more), and Sporting, third, with 79.

The last duel between the greats of the competition began with fast and deadly attacks at both ends of the field, which generated several equalizers until the 17th minute (10-10), before the “dragons” began to evolve in the march of the marker. outnumbered.

A seven-meter free kick wasted by Petar Djordjic and “misses” by Lazar Kukic and Alexis Borges against Nikola Mitrevski confused the “eagles” during the exclusions of Pedro Valdés and Victor Iturriza, governed by the three goals in a row of the FC Porto (13 -10) .

With the seven rebuilt, Magnus Andersson’s pupils continued organized without the ball and punished Benfica’s attacking error with advantages of four goals (15-11, 16-12, 17-13 and 18-14), a gap set at the end of the season. the first half (19-15).

Gustavo Capdeville replaced Sergey Hernández on his return from the locker room and Chema Rodríguez’s team still managed to halve the distance (20-18), but the “dragons” took time to regain their strength and still pulled in the count.

Following a 5-1 partial, in which they combined shots from long range with finishes from six yards, FC Porto entered the final 20 minutes with six high goals (25-19), which would be preserved with the help of Pedro Cruz’s composure from two free-kicks from seven yards out.

The attack on the strategy of seven against six had undesirable effects for Benfica, which jostled the defenses of Nikola Mitrevski, accumulated losses of ball and opened the way to the fatal transitions of the northerners, who imposed themselves by nine goals ( 31-22), in the 48th minute. .

Visibly affected, the “incarnates” were still struggling to return the result to the gap observed at half-time (32-28), at a time when the “dragons” were already giving minutes to less accustomed players, feeling the doubled championship around the corner.

Match at Dragão Arena, in Porto.

FC Porto-Benfica, 19-15.

At halftime: 32-28.

Under the refereeing of Rúben Maia and André Nunes, the teams lined up and scored:

– FC Porto (32): Sebastian Frandsen, Pedro Valdés, Victor Iturriza (5), Djibril M’Bengue (5), Rui Silva (4), Leonel Fernandes (3) and António Areia (2). Nikola Mitrevski, Pedro Cruz (3), Diogo Oliveira, Daymaro Salina (2), Ivan Sliskovic (7), Diogo Branquinho (1), Miguel Alves, Jesús Hurtado and Fábio Magalhães also played.

Coach: Magnus Andersson.

– Benfica (28): Sergey Hernandez, Jonas Kallman (5), Alexis Borges (6), Ole Rahmel (6), Lazar Kukic (1), Demis Grigoras (2) and Rogério Moraes (2). Gustavo Capdeville, Mahamadou Keita, Belone Moreira (1), Paulo Moreno (1), Carlos Martins, Tadej Kljun, Luciano Silva, Petar Djordjic (4) and Francisco Pereira also played.

Coach: Chema Rodriguez.

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