Galatasaray kickstart campaign with 2-1 Benfica win

Published 10/22/2015, 5:23 AM EDT
Galatasaray’s players celebrate winning their Champions League Group C soccer match against Benfica at the Ali Sami Yen stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Osman Orsal


ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Galatasaray rebounded from conceding an early goal to beat Benfica with two first-half strikes on Wednesday, reviving their Champions League hopes in Group C after a disappointing start to their campaign.

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They were shocked in the second minute when Nicolas Gaitan put the visitors ahead after he received the ball in the penalty area, stepped inside Aurelien Chedjou and fired past keeper Fernando Muslera.

But Galatasaray captain Selcuk Inan hit back in the 19th minute, scoring from the penalty spot after Andre Almeida handled in the area.

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Lukas Podolski put the momentum firmly with the home side in the 33rd minute when he ran on to a long ball from Chedjou along the right and drove a left-foot shot past keeper Julio Cesar.

The second half started with a flurry of goal efforts with both keepers making saves, Wesley Sneijder firing from long distance against the post and Benfica failing to hit the target after some attacking moves.

But the home side gradually fell back into firm defence and kept the Lisbon visitors at bay.

The result still leaves Galatasaray third on four points behind Benfica on six, level on points with leaders Atletico Madrid who beat Astana 4-0.

(Writing by Daren Butler; editing by Clare Lovell)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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