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UEFA Champions League

(ATT 38,000) 14th September 2005 - Kick off 19:45 Ref: R Temmink

Benfica Benfica vs Lille Lille

Benfica 1


Lille 0

Miccoli wins it for Benfica

By Paul Higham.   Last Updated: 14/09/05 9:31pm

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Benfica left it until the final minute to earn a battling 1-0 win over Lille in Lisbon.

Fabrizio Miccoli was the hero for the Eagles as the Italian marksman headed in Pedro Mantorras's cross to break French hearts.

Miccoli had looked the most likely scorer all night long, and he was unlucky to smack the crossbar just nine minutes in when he connected sweetly with Simao's left wing cross only to volley against the woodwork.

The French visitors were determined to make a game of it, and Geoffrey Dernis curled in a dangerous free kick on 20 minutes that Benfica keeper Jose Moreira had to turn over the bar.

Lille had the best chance of the half when Matt Moussilou just failed to slot the ball home from Daniel Gygax's left wing cross, as he scuffed his effort wide with the goal gaping.

Simao was doing his best to inspire his side as captain, but he could not find the target with his powerful drive after half time.

The visitors were growing in confidence all the time as the Portuguese outfit failed to produce a goal despite being on top.

Mathieu Debuchy showed Lille's confidence as he showed great technique to lash in a 20-yard half-volley on the hour mark which arrowed just inches wide of the post.

Benfica have endured their worst domestic start ever and it looked like they were going to have to settle for a disappointing draw against the stubborn French side.

However, Miccoli's persistence paid off and he wriggled clear of his marker two minutes into stoppage time to plant his header past Tony Sylva to the joy of the Estadio de Luz faithful.

The win, coupled with Manchester United's draw in Villarreal, put Benfica top of Group D after the first round of matches.

Click here for player ratings

BenficaTeam StatisticsLille
01st Half Goals0
8Shots on Target2
9Shots off Target11
1Blocked Shots4
1Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
73.3Passing Success67.2
90.5Tackles Success88
49.2Territorial Advantage50.8



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