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Koka features as Benfica win Supertaca

Koka Benfica

Photo: SC Braga

Portuguese champions Benfica defeated Braga 3-0 to reclaim the title, thanks to goals from new signing Franco Cervi, last year’s top scorer Jonas and midfielder Pizzi.

Benfica XI: Cesar; Semedo; Luisao; Lindelof; Grimaldo; Horta; Fejsa; Pizzi; Cervi; Mitroglou; Jonas.

Braga XI: Marafona; Baiano; Baiano; Pinto; Goiano; Vukcevic; Mauro; Tiba; Santos; Rafa; Stojiljkovic.

The Supertaca, the Portuguese Super Cup, was competed between last season’s league champions Benfica and the Taca de Portugal winners Braga. Braga’s new manager Jose Peseiro, formerly of Al Ahly, was looking to make an immediate impression on the Braga fans after he replaced Paulo Fonseca who recently joined Shakhtar Donetsk.

Franco Cervi, who has the difficult task of replacing Benfica icon Nicolas Gaitan, broke the deadlock after his mazing run and good finish. He was expected to play in the Olympics for Argentina, however he joined up with the Benfica squad for pre-season instead and has got off to a good start with the club.

Braga tried to work their way back into the game through Rafa, who almost joined Porto in a big money move recently, however he stayed and was their main source of creativity throughout. Twenty two minutes to full time, Peseiro brought on his side’s league top scorer last season Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ to provide more of an outlet up front.

Benfica doubled their lead thanks to Jonas, after his clever chipped pass found Pizzi, who returned the favour with an intricate through ball before Jonas finished well past Marafona, to open his account for the season.

Koka almost made Peseiro’s decision pay off as his unorthodox shot almost found the back of the net in spectacular style, with him sliding to make contact with the ball and somehow generating enough power to send it just over from 40 yards.

Benfica put the game beyond all doubt in the closing stages, as Pizzi turned from provider to scorer after the ball rebounded from a Benfica attack and found Pizzi who had the goal at his mercy with the keeper off his line, and he chipped it with great precision into the back of the net off the bar.

While this isn’t the most prestigious tournament, it also isn’t the ideal start for Peseiro going into his first game of the Portuguese League against Vitoria de Guimaraes. Benfica begin their title defence away at Tondela next week.

Match Reporter and Editor at Quantity surveyor from South East London. Support Leyton Orient and Inter at club level. Due to my mixed heritage I also support England, Egypt and Poland at national level. If it involves a stadium and a football then I'll watch it.

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