OGC Nice (3-0) lost on Friday to a strong team from Benfica as part of the Algarve Cup.
OGC Nice were playing their second preparatory match for Summer 2022 in Portugal, against Cador from the continental arena, SL Benfica. Les Rouge et Noir lost to a very powerful, intimidating and well-established Portuguese team. Le Gym had a few positions, especially in the last half hour of play, but generally suffered from pressure and skillful play for their opponent. Note the comeback from the injury of Yusuf Atal, who entered play an hour later.
The scary Benfica
The Aiglons raised the game’s first big chance. Andy Delort’s long shot from 30 yards was deflected by Helton on the post. But the pressure on Lisboètes and the massive groups of the Portuguese soon put the Aiglons in difficulty. Grimaldo served well, Rafa Silva opened the scoring from the inside with his right foot in the area (1-0, 7′). After 13 minutes, Benfica doubled the lead. In a Portuguese corner kick, Neres sent a cross to Nicolas Otamendi, alone at the far post, who scored with a header (2-0, 13).
Lucien Favre’s players then tried to respond, but Amin Al-Juiri’s free kick and Dante’s header from a very long corner did not bother Benfica. The Azorean opponents, very impressive in set-pieces, scored the third goal through Gilberto with a header taken from a corner kick (3-0, 36).
Andy Delortt’s beautiful chisel passed at the entrance to the area after a fine free kick from Guerry over the cage and did not allow Ness to close the gap. The Reds and Blacks returned to the locker room logically behind the scoreboard in front of the Benfica team at the front and with technical precision.
Two renewed teams
At the start of the second half, Benfica presented themselves with 10 new players off the field. Yaremchuk scored after Benfica recovered high and touched the post by Bulka. A few minutes later, the gym club goalkeeper saw the ball fly out of the frame a few centimeters after a long attempt by Moreira Jr. Shortly after an hour, Lucien Favre made 10 changes, including the return of Yucel Atal. Polka, Atal (hat), Nahonu, Danieliuk, Lutumba, Bouanani, Balahian, Traore, Claude Morris, Troiler and Brahimi made up the gym eleven in the last 25 minutes.
The newly entered Aiglons quickly showed themselves to be dangerous with offensive goodwill. Bouanani’s shot was blocked by Benfica’s defense and Claude Maurice’s skewed shot was fired by Hilton. The latter saw his right-footed attempt turned by the opposing goalkeeper after one goal – two with trout. The skin returned to the midfielder who hit above. Hilton blocked Bouanani’s shot with both hands, before Brahimi’s shot flew over the frame. In overtime, Atal’s attempt to return to the field for the first time since April was blocked. The referee indicated the end of the match and the match ended with a penalty shootout, which Benfica won 5-4. Goal ? It is decided between the two teams in the event of a tie during the final classification (the tournament is held between 3 teams: OGC Nice, Benfica and Fulham).
Certificate of Authenticity
Benfica 3-0 Nice: goals Rafa Silva (7), Otamendi (13) and Gilberto (36).
Referee: Helder Malheru
Polka – Mindy, Todibo, Dante (hat), Bard – Boudaoui, Schneiderlin, Rosario – da Cunha, Delort, Guerre.
From 60 minutes:
Polka – Atal (hat), Nahuno, Danieluk, Lutumba – Bouanani, Balahian, Traoré, Troilet – Claude Morris, Brahimi.
Benfica’s starting line-up
Hilton – Gilberto, Otamendi (hat), Morato, Grimaldo – Florentino, Enzo – Neres, J. Mario, Rafa Silva – Goncalo Ramos.
Saturday meet against Fulham
Lucien Favre’s players will play their third prep match of the summer tomorrow against a young player in the Premier League. OGC Nice will face Fulham, crowned champions last season, still in the context of the Algarve Cup (9:15pm). A week later, the Eagles will face Roma (23 at 8pm) to finish their training period in Portugal before returning to Allianz Rivera for a final test against Torino (30 at 5pm).