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Played
April 25, 2013 3:05 PM EDT
Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadyumu — İstanbul
Referee:‬ M. Mažić‎
Attendance:‬ 43936‎
 
 
Top of the Match
Egemen Korkmaz
Egemen Korkmaz
Fenerbahçe
Egemen Korkmaz
Egemen Korkmaz
Fenerbahçe
Flop of the Match
Ola John
Ola John
Benfica
Ó. Cardozo
Ó. Cardozo
Benfica

Fenerbahce 1-0 Benfica: Turks in command after Korkmaz winner settles frenetic first leg

The defender propped up with 18 minutes to go to prod home the winner to decide a narrow semifinal first leg against the Portuguese visitors

By Mohammed Ali

UEFA Europe League: Fenerbahce-Benfica: Cristian
seskim
Fenerbahce put one foot in the Europa League final with a narrow 1-0 win over Benfica in a frenetic semifinal first leg at Sukru Saracoglu.

In a match which saw attacking action primarily against the woodwork, which was to be hit an amazing five times, Egemen Korkmaz's late controversial winner pushed the Turkish hosts that little bit closer to Amsterdam and a first-ever European final.

On a night of frustration for Benfica, substitute Nicolas Gaitan got closest with a shot against the post, with the visitors having it all to do at Estadio da Luz next week.

Despite the typically raucous atmosphere inside the Istanbul venue, it proved to be a cautious opening to the semifinal, with both sides happy to bide their time as Eduardo Salvio and Maxi Pereira ensured Benfica enjoyed the better of the two starts.

But given Fenerbahce's tidal wave of support, it wasn't long before it rallied at the other end with chances coming in quick succession.

Firstly, Webo's neat pass into Sow flashed narrowly wide, before Kuyt's superb cross was met wonderfully by the Ivorian striker who easily beat Jardel in the aerial challenge, but was unlucky to see his bullet header cannon back off the crossbar.

The first half drama began to ensue in additional time.

Ola John was adjudged to have fouled Gokhan Gonul approaching the penalty box, with Serbian referee Milorad Mazic immediately pointing to the spot. Up stepped Cristian Baroni, whose low penalty slammed against the post and away on the stroke of halftime, with the midfielder being dragged away in tears by teammates to complete a high-tempo first half.

The second, however, started in equally the same way for the Turkish outfit which was once more unable to penetrate the defense. With Cristian once more bringing a fine save out of the goalkeeper, followed by Raul Meireles' stinging effort, Kuyt ensured a third effort against the woodwork with a fine swivel and shot which Artur eventually reached.

It was then time for Benfica to test the vulnerable Volkan in the opposite goal, with Cardozo smashing a low effort towards the goalkeeper, before subsitute Nicolas Gaitan ensured the post was hit for the fourth time with a great effort from outside the box which left the custodian stranded.

Despite the chances at both ends, the deadlock would be broken, and fortuitously as the game hurtled towards the final quarter of an hour. From a corner, Korkmaz rose highest to head the ball yet again off the post with Melgajero at fault as the ball crossed the line before celebrations got going after the fifth official's goal award.

Fenerbahce held on to take command of the semifinal tie, as it looks to confirm a place in the Europa League final next week in the semifinal second leg at Estadio da Luz.

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Fenerbahçe

1
Volkan Demirel
Goalkeeper
3.00
2
Egemen Korkmaz
Defender
72′
3.50
26
Joseph Yobo
Defender
3.00
86
Reto Ziegler
Defender
2.00
77
Gökhan Gönül
Defender
3.00
5
Mehmet Topal
Midfielder
50′
2.50
14
Raúl Meireles
Midfielder
64′
2.50
16
Cristian Baroni
Midfielder
37′ 47′ 86′
2.50
7
Moussa Sow
Striker
87′
3.00
11
Dirk Kuyt
Striker
3.00
9
2.50

Benfica

3.00
1
Artur
Goalkeeper
2.50
14
Maxi Pereira
Midfielder
41′
2.50
24
2.00
28
L. Melgarejo
Midfielder
2.00
33
2.00
10
Pablo Aimar
Midfielder
37′ 46′
3.00
18
2.00
21
Nemanja Matić
Midfielder
2.50
-
André Gomes
Midfielder
31′ 81′
2.00
7
1.50
24
Ola John
Striker
46′ 64′

Substitutes

23
 - 
4
 - 
21
Selçuk Şahin
Midfielder
86′
 - 
-
Milos Krasic
Midfielder
87′
 - 
38
Mehmet Topuz
Midfielder
 - 
40
Salih Uçan
Midfielder
64′
2.00
-
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
13
Paulo Lopes
Goalkeeper
 - 
19
Roderick
Defender
2.00
17
Carlos Martins
Midfielder
81′
 - 
16
 - 
11
Lima
Striker
2.00
19
Rodrigo
Striker
64′

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Jonathan Jonathan
Striker
Salzburg
11 2
Jermain Defoe Jermain Defoe
Striker
Toronto FC
7 1
Alexander Meier Alexander Meier
Midfielder
Eintracht Frankfurt
7 1
Paco Alcácer Paco Alcácer
Striker
Valencia
7 0
Kevin Gameiro Kevin Gameiro
Striker
Sevilla
6 0