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1 - 6
T. Chery (26 pen)
Gonçalo Ramos (20)
P. Musa (59)
Álex Grimaldo (69)
Henrique Araújo (88)
João Mário (90+2)
Sammy Ofer Stadium
Maccabi Haifa v Benfica Live Commentary,
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90' + 2'
1 - 6
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1 - 3
1 - 2
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
UEFA Europa League
That's all for today. Goodbye.
Next up, Maccabi travel to Beitar Jerusalem in the Israeli Premier League, with Benfica going to Estoril Praia in the Primeira Liga.
Benfica thump Maccabi with five second-half goals to move to the top of Group H, overtaking PSG. The scores were level just before the hour mark, with Ramos’ penalty cancelled out by a penalty from Chery, before a devastating attack display from the visitors. Substitute Musa gave the Portuguese outfit the lead, heading in a cross from Bah before a free-kick from Grimaldo doubled their advantage. From there, Maccabi’s defence collapsed. Rafa added a fourth, chipping the ball over Cohen before Araujo crashed one in after receiving the ball from Bah who got his second assist. Finally, Joao Mario wrapped up the game with the best goal of the match. Outside the box, his drilled effort flew past the goalkeeper and into the bottom corner. His strike was pivotal, taking Benfica above PSG on total away goals scored.
90' + 4'
FULL-TIME: MACCABI HAIFA 1-6 BENFICA
90' + 3'
Atzili gets a yellow card seconds before the end of the match.
90' + 2'
Machado gets the assist but does very little towards the goal. It's all about Joao Mario, who receives the ball in space before unleashing a rasping effort that beats Cohen.
90' + 2'
GOAAALLLLL! JOAO MARIO SCORES! 6-1 BENFICA! The former West Ham man scores what could be the best goal of the night. Positioned on the edge of the box, nobody presses Joao Mario, with the midfielder drilling the ball into the bottom corner.
Grimaldo looks to score again from a free-kick. This time from the right, he ignores options in the middle and fires the ball at Cohen who was ready for it.
Menachem commits a foul on the edge of the box and gives away a free-kick. He is also given a yellow card for his troubles.
Bah gets his second assist of the match through a different method. Previously crossing the ball into the box, this time his delicate pass deceives the Maccabi defence. Araujo runs free, crashing the ball into the net.
Substitution for Benfica. Silva is replaced by Verissimo for the final few minutes.
GOAALLLL! ARAUJO SCORES! 5-1 BENFICA! Bah is involved again, this time sliding the ball down the right to Araujo who smashes the ball past Cohen.
SAVE! Benfica have another chance to score. With nobody closing him down, Goncalves' low shot from outside the box is pushed against the post.
M. Abu Fani
Fani receives a yellow card after sliding down Grimaldo.
Substitution for Maccabi. Cornud is replaced by Menachem.
The tempo of the match has decreased. Both teams seem content with the score.
Substitution for Benfica. Neres is replaced by Goncalves.
Substitution for Benfica. Rafa is replaced by Araujo.
Musa is now back on the pitch.
Benfica's Musa is down and receiving treatment after a heavy collision in the box.
Substitution for Maccabi. Faz is replaced by Arad.
Substitution for Maccabi. Pierrot is replaced by Rukavytsya.
Benfica’s Rafa scored twice in their 4-3 win over Juventus on MD5, only one fewer than he scored in his first 26 Champions League appearances. It's his first away goal in the competition, with all five of his previous strikes coming at Estadio da Luz.
Neres' stabbed ball towards Rafa looked like it had too much power on it. However, Rafa got there before Cohen, chipping it over him with the goalkeeper going to the ground before the shot was taken.
GOAALLLLLLL! RAFA SCORES! 4-1 BENFICA! The game must be over now with Maccabi’s defence collapsing in the second half. This time, Rafa chips the ball over the goalkeeper from close range after Neres poked the ball into his path.
Benfica manager Schmidt has lost none of his last 13 Champions League group stage matches (W5 D8), with eight of those coming with Bayer Leverkusen and five with Benfica. No manager – who has managed in the competition in 2022-23 – is on a longer unbeaten run in the group stage. That number will move to 14 if Maccabi fail to score at least three.
GOAALLLLL! GRIMALDO SCORES! 3-1 BENFICA! Joao Mario gives the free-kick responsibility to Grimaldo. With his left foot, the Spaniard curls the ball over the wall and into the net.
Joao Mario finds Rafa who flicks it towards Chiquinho who is fouled on the edge. The free-kick is within shooting range. Grimaldo wants to take it.
Neres and Rafa combine on the right before the ball is fed back to Bah. He looks to find Musa again, but Seck gets across this time to head it away.
Atzili's loses possession with his first involvement. He looks to go around Grimaldo but the left-back slides the ball away.
Substitution for Maccabi. David is replaced by Tchibota.
Substitution for Maccabi. Meir is replaced by Atzili.
Maccabi Haifa have lost 13 of their 17 matches (76 per cent) in the Champions League (W3 D1), including four out of five this campaign. Among teams to play 15+ games in the competition, only Malmo (83 per cent, lost 15/18) have a worse defeat percentage. That number will increase if they fail to find an equaliser.
That will make Bah feel better. After giving away a penalty in the first half, he plays a vital role in the goal that gives Benfica the lead. His cross is perfect, matching the run of Musa who heads it into the net.
GOAALLLLLL! MUSA SCORES! 2-1 BENFICA! Rafa slides the ball down the right to Bah who puts a first-time cross into the box. Bursting towards it, Musa gets there before Seck, crashing a header past the goalkeeper who was given no chance.
Benfica have kept the ball well in the last couple of minutes. Bah then looks to whip it into the box but his attempt is blocked by Cornud.
Chery scuffs a first-time shot from inside the box. He was under pressure from Otamendi.
Benfica have had the last five shots in this game as Maccabi's last attempt was taken by David in the 29th minute.
WIDE! Benfica goes close to scoring a second. Bah cuts the ball back from the right to Chiquinho who is unmarked. Striking it first-time, his attempt goes wide. It looked like the goalkeeper had it covered.
Chery looks to beat Otamendi after Fazaz wins the ball in the Benfica half but the Argentine tackles him. He was attempting to enter the box.
Rafa and Goldberg are involved once again. This time, the defender blocks a shot from the 29-year-old after he unleashed an attempt from outside the box.
Rafa looks to flick the ball over the head of Goldberg but the defender reads it. The Benfica man would have been one-on-one with the goalkeeper if he was successful.
Maccabi get the game back underway.
Maccabi have looked good going forward, but must be more clinical in the attack. David has had five shots, with the best being a one-on-one opportunity, but has failed to hit the target. Still, with a chance of qualifying for the Europa League, they must decide if they want to push for a winner or hold onto a point and hope PSG beat Juventus. As for Benfica, their best players have been Rafa and Grimaldo. They have combined effectively down the left and will punish the opposition if they are not stopped. Neres has been involved in the match but should look to receive the ball more often.
A penalty from Maccabi’s Chery cancelled out Ramos’ opener with the score level at the break. Benfica had the best of the opportunities before taking the lead, with Ramos smashing the post from close range before Rafa was denied a stunning goal from outside the box by Cohen. However, they beat the goalkeeper moments after being denied. Bah chipped the ball towards Otamendi, knocking it across to Ramos who directed it into the net. However, their advantage was short-lived, with Maccabi levelling six minutes later. After a long VAR check, Bah was deemed to have handled Cornud’s cross, with Chery burying the penalty.
45' + 4'
HALF-TIME: MACCABI HAIFA 1-1 BENFICA
45' + 4'
Rafa wins the ball on the left and searches for Neres just inside the box. The Brazilian leaves the ball, with the crosser confused with his decision. Maccabi now have the ball.
45' + 3'
Cornud is back on the pitch and is fine to continue.
45' + 2'
Neres gets a yellow card after stepping on the foot of Cornud.
45' + 1'
Cornud is down after a collision with Neres. He is now receiving treatment.
There will be three minutes of additional time.
Good move from Benfica. Rafa receives the ball on the left of the box, curling it towards Neves. His cross deflects towards the goal, with Cohen sticking out an arm to block it.
Neves slides the ball down the right to Musa who is running free. From a tight angle, he ignores options in the middle, curling his shot over.
Grimaldo goes close. The left-back has space just outside the box, drilling a low effort wide of the post.
Meir looks to put a cross into the box from the right but Grimaldo makes his way over to crash the ball out for a throw-in. The away side have looked unsettled since losing their lead.
Benfica are unbeaten in their last six Champions League matches (W3 D3), their best run in the competition. Including the European Cup, they haven’t had a longer run since a nine-game run between 1988 and 1990.
Another substitution for Benfica. Aursnes comes off for Chiquinho.
Substitution for Benfica. Ramos, who opened the scoring, is replaced by Musa.
Neres gets to the corner flag but is dispossessed by Fani. In frustration, he bundles the Maccabi man to the ground.
Rafa runs inside and finds Neres who made himself available on the right. Cutting inside, his low attempt is blocked by Goldberg.
GOAALLLLL! CHERY SCORES! 1-1! Chery’s penalty is emphatic. The winger curls the ball into the right side of the net with power. Vlachodimos dives the right way but cannot get anywhere near it.
PENALTY! After consulting the monitor, referee Anthony Taylor gives a penalty. Bah's arm was outstretched to his right, blocking a cross from Cornud going into the box.
PENALTY SHOUT! Maccabi think they should have a penalty after a cross hit the arm of Bah. VAR is checking this.
Otamendi stays up from a corner, with the former Manchester City man doing brilliantly to keep the attack alive. He finds Ramos, who heads it past the goalkeeper for the opener.
GOAALLLL! RAMOS SCORES! 1-0 BENFICA! Bah starts the move, curling the ball towards Otamendi. On the right of the box, the defender knocks it across to the striker who heads it low past Cohen.
SAVE! Rafa has an opportunity to score this time. Receiving the ball from Grimaldo, his curling effort from outside the box is flicked over by Cohen.
Grimaldo drills a pass towards Joao Mario who is positioned on the edge of the Maccabi box but a defender bursts towards the ball to intercept it.
David has the ball inside the Benfica box but is crowded out by three defenders. On the right, his wild shot is blocked.
Neves looks to drive forward with the ball but Cornud comes across to win possession back.
Following a 2-0 win over Juventus in their last home Champions League match, Maccabi are looking to record consecutive home wins in major European competition for the first time since October 2011 in the Europa League.
POST! Benfica goes close this time. Aursnes bursts down the left of the box before looking for Ramos who rushes into the centre. Connecting with the ball, the striker lashes it against the post from close range.
Benfica have been loose in possession of the ball, regularly giving it to Maccabi in their own half.
WIDE! Big chance for Maccabi. The ball comes to David inside the box, with the winger directing his effort wide of the post. Pierrot is frustrated, he feels that the ball should have been passed across to him on the right for an easy finish.
There has not been a lot of action in the opening few minutes. Maccabi had the ball on the edge of the Benfica box but it came to nothing.
Benfica get this Champions League clash underway.
Benfica have lost both of their away European games in Israel: they lost 4-2 to Beitar Jerusalem in the 1998-99 Champions League qualifying phase and 3-0 to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the 2010-11 Champions League group stage.
As for Benfica, Roger Schmidt makes just one alteration to the team that demolished Chaves 5-0 in the Primeira Liga. Enzo Fernandez is out of the squad completely, with the midfielder replaced by Luis.
Maccabi make two changes to the team that beat Ashdod in the Israeli Premier League last time out. On the left wing, Tchibota is replaced by Chery. The home side have also switched from two in the centre of the pitch to three, dropping an attacking midfielder. As a result, David moves out to the right wing, with Fani starting instead of Atzili who drops to the bench.
BENFICA SUBS: John Brooks, Chiquinho, Diogo Goncalves, Lucas Verissimo, Joao Victor, Rodrigo Pinho, Gilberto, Petar Musa, Mihailo Ristic, Henrique Araujo, Paulo Bernardo, Helton Leite.
BENFICA (4-2-3-1): Odisseas Vlachodimos; Alexander Bah, Antonio Tavares Da Sila, Nicolas Otamendi, Alejandro Grimaldo; Florentino Luis, Fredrik Aursnes; David Neres, Rafa, Joao Mario; Goncalo Ramos.
MACCABI HAIFA SUBS: Nikita Rukavytsya, Omer Atzili, Mavis Tchibota, Maor Levi, Sun Menachem, Roei Fuchs, Ofri Arad, Roei Mashpati, Inon Eliyahu, Rami Gershon.
MACCABI HAIFA (4-3-3): Josh Cohen; Yosef Raz Meir, Abdoulaye Seck, Sean Goldberg, Pierre Cornud; Mohammad Abu Fani, Neta Lavi, Ali Mohamed El Fazaz; Dean David, Frantzdy Pierrot, Tjaronn Chery.
As for Benfica, they have already qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League after collecting 11 points from their five matches. It is just the second time they have escaped the group in their last five participations, also doing so last season. They confirmed their place after beating Juventus but will need help from the Serie A outfit if they want to finish at the summit of Group H. They have an identical record to that of PSG’s – drawing on both occasions with them – so will need to better their result. If they both win or lose, Benfica must overtake their four-goal advantage.
Maccabi are bottom of Group H after losing four out of their five matches, with their only victory coming against Juventus in their previous home match in the Champions League. Level on points with the Italians, they will only qualify for a Europa League playoff place if they collect more points in this match than Juventus do against Paris Saint-Germain. If they match the result of Massimiliano Allegri’s side, they will finish last on goal difference.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary for the Champions League clash between Maccabi Haifa and Benfica.