POZNAN, Poland. October 22 (PSN) – Lech Poznan took part in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
The Kolejorz lost 2:4 in the group opener at home against SL Benfica Lisbon, seeing them now place third in the standings.
Lech started the game very courageously, which already resulted in three shots on target in the early minutes of the game. Jakub Moder each time tried his luck with long range efforts, of which he missed the target the first two times, but managed to cause a lot of problems to the Portuguese goalkeeper on his third attempt.
However, the 7th minute saw Tomasz Dejewski make a costly mistake in his own penalty area by playing the ball with his hand, resulting in the referee to award the visitors a penalty kick. Pizzi then converted it to give the Lisbon outfit the lead.
As it would have it, conceding an early goal did not break the spirits of Dariusz Zuraw’s team, but rather motivate them more. Six minutes after conceding, Lech had equalized with a goal of their own from Mikael Ishak. Lech did not intend to stop there. The Polish vice champions were also even close to taking the lead in the 24th minute. Another spectacular shot from Moder this time hit the crossbar.
Four minutes before the break, Benfica took the lead once again. This Darwin Nunez entered the score sheet time after heading in a cross from Gilberto.
After the break, Lech responded with another goal. After a well-played run, Jakub Kaminski saw himself in front of the Benfica goal and took a shot, but it ended up saved by the goalkeeper. This in turn resulted in a rebound which went towards Ishak, who headed it into the empty goal.
In the 60th minute, Darwin Nunez made himself known to Lech for the second time in the match, who again pushed Benfica into the lead. The Uruguayan striker excellently outplayed the Lech defense and smashed the ball past Filip Bednark to make it 2:3.
Whatever the score, Lech did not give up and continued to look for a way back into the game. In the 73rd minute, Moder took yet another long range attempt at goal, which forced Odisseas Vlachodimos to make a big save. In the following minutes, Nika Kaczarawa, who was introduced in for Ishak, also had two opportunities of his own to equalize. First he missed the net in a one-on-one situation, and a few moments later his shot in the penalty zone was saved.
Despite their ambitious attitude, Lech were unable to equalize for the third time. In added time, the fourth goal was scored for Benfica – a hattrick completed by Darwin Nunez, who headed the ball into goal.
With Rangers FC beating Standard Liege at home 2:0, the Polish club now sit third place in their UEFA Europa League group.
Lech Poznań – SL Benfica 2:4 (1:2)
Goals: Ishak 15′, 48′ – Pizzi 9′ (Pk), Núñez 42′, 60′, 90′
Yellow carded: Crnomarković, Muhar
Referee: Nikola Dabanović (Montengero)
Lech: 35. Filip Bednarek – 44. Alan Czerwiński, 13. Tomasz Dejewski, 5. Đorđe Crnomarković, 27. Tymoteusz Puchacz (74, 3. Wasyl Kraweć) – 21. Michał Skóraś (90, 29. Mohammad Awwad), 25. Pedro Tiba, 15. Jakub Moder, 10. Dani Ramírez (67, 6. Karlo Muhar), 38. Jakub Kamiński (67, 11. Filip Marchwiński) – 9. Mikael Ishak (74, 14. Nika Kaczarawa)
Benfica: 99. Odysséas Vlachodímos – 2. Gilberto, 30. Nicolás Otamendi, 5. Jan Vertonghen, 3. Álex Grimaldo (67, 71. Nuno Tavares) – 21. Pizzi (46, 27. Rafa Silva), 49. Adel Taarabt (61, 28. Julian Weigl), 8. Gabriel, 7. Éverton (87, 33. Jardel) – 10. Luca Waldschmidt (62, 38. Pedrinho), 9. Darwin Núñez
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