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Farense holds struggling Benfica to goalless draw

After bringing home a point from Guimarães following a 2-2 draw against Vitória SC midway through last week, Farense returned to the Algarve to hold Benfica to a goalless draw on Sunday night.

Benfica, having faced Arsenal for the Europe League just a few days earlier, entered the match in desperate need of a win to continue holding onto any hope of cutting the huge point gap to first-placed Sporting CP but were unable to capitalise on the chances they created.

But the match was far from one-sided. Farense provided some valiant opposition and was the first team with a clear scoring chance just 12 minutes into the match when Benfica goalkeeper Helton Leite denied Pedro Henrique the opening goal.

Five minutes later, Benfica winger Éverton tried to score from outside the box but saw his shot stopped by Rafael Defendi.

Shortly after it was Darwin Nuñez who missed the mark with just the keeper to beat following a dangerous cross from Nuno Tavares.

Farense fans did celebrate for just a few minutes after Licá scored an impressive goal from a difficult angle to give the home side the lead. However, the goal was disallowed by the VAR (video assistant referee) due to a minimal 15cm offside.

The second 45 minutes were not eventful as the first, with Benfica trying to break down Farense’s defense but with little success.

Rafa and Pizzi each had clear chances to score but were denied by Rafael Defendi and the woodwork, while Farense took advantage of Benfica’s risk-taking to threaten Helton Leite whenever possible.

In the end, neither team was able to break the deadlock.

The draw leaves Farense sitting at 15th place with 18 points, the same as Famalicão and Boavista, while Benfica has gone four league matches without winning, leaving them at 4th place and 15 points behind Sporting CP.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com