Saturday, October 20, 2007
Goncalo Lobo Pinhiro/ASF
Freddy scores another late goal
For the second consecutive Taça da Liga match Freddy Adu saved Benfica late, this time striking a picturesque first-time volley to salvage a draw in the first leg of the fourth round home-and-home series with Vitoria Setubal.
Benfica head coach Jose Antonio Camacho rested many of the clubs starters including Rui Costa, Oscar Cardozo, Maxi and Cristian Rodriguez. The starting 11 only included four first team regulars and it reflected in the team's first half performance.
After only 12 minutes Brazilian striker Matheus had put Setubal in front after a goalmouth scramble. Benfica's play was disjointed and goalkeeper Quim was called on several times to rescue the defense.
At the interval Camacho changed formations by brining on forward Dabao for midfielder Coentrão. The new 4-4-2 line-up, which quickly morphed into a 4-2-4, allowed Benfica to begin dominating play, but Setubal, who has yet to lose a game this campaign, held firm defensively.
Camacho made his last move with 20 minutes remaining bring on Freddy Adu and Mantorras in place of the ineffective Gonzalo Bergessio and exhausted Angel Di Maria. Neither substitute had much effect on the game until a hopeful long ball deflected off a defenders head found Adu about 19 yards out.
Without hesitation Adu sweetly struck the volley first time low and into the far corner on what would prove to be the last minutes of the game.
The series will be decided on October 31 with Setubal hosting Benfica with a crucial away goal advantage.