With a goal from Brazilian right-back Gilberto, ex-Fluminense, Benfica thrashed Arouca 4-0 this Friday, at Estádio da Luz, in the opening game of the 2022/2023 Portuguese Championship.
Gilberto celebrates Benfica’s goal against Arouca in Portuguese — Photo: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP
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Rafa Silva scored two goals in the match, and Argentine Enzo Fernández, formerly of River Plate, scored the other. Two other Brazilians started at Benfica: defender Morato and striker David Neres, ex-Ajax.
Benfica opened the scoring in the eighth minute: Alex Grimaldo crossed from the left, and Gilberto headed firmly into the right corner of the Uruguayan goalkeeper De Arruabarrena.
Rafa Silva made all the play for the second goal, in the 42nd minute, and after the ball hit the crossbar, he only needed to complete it with his head, in the small area. In stoppage time, Enzo Fernández took the leftovers from the defense and kicked with the first shot.
Arouca was left with one player less after the expulsion of Brazilian defender Quaresma, also in first-half stoppage time. With a numerical advantage, the Benfica of German coach Roger Schmidt, ex-PSV, controlled the match in the second half and reached the fourth goal in the 41st, with Rafa Silva completing the cross from the right in the area.
In the second round, Benfica will play away from home against Casa Pia, promoted to the elite this season. Current Portuguese champions, Porto debut this Saturday, against Marítimo, at home. Sporting enters the field on Sunday, against Braga, away.