sexta-feira, abril 15, 2011

I Dream of Dublin



After knowing that Benfica had won the first-leg of the Europa League quarter-finals against PSV by 4-1, I became almost certain that we would go on through the next stage, even though I was warned by some to be cautious as a lot could change at the Philips Stadium. By reminding myself of the 4 goals, I became reassured of the idea that the Dutch side would have a long way to go if they wanted to knock the Lisbon Giants out of the competition.


That reassurance briefly disappeared when last night I saw PSV score 2 goals in 25 minutes and leave the Eagles very close to a meltdown...Well, at least we would assume that could happen, since it wouldn't be a first time for the Portuguese side. However, being an optimistic supporter as I am, I calmed myself down and realized we still had more than enough time to get ourselves together and make a comeback. And so it happened...

Luisao scored right before the end of the first half in an acrobatic fashion and later on during the second half, Cardozo ended PSV hopes (if they had any left) by converting a penalty shot.

Benfica was indeed confirmed at the semi-final, to face another Portuguese team... S.C. Braga!

The Bracarenses made history by securing a nil tie against the Ukrainians FC Dynamo Kyiv, thus making way to go up against Benfica as they fight for the final spot in Dublin.

On the other side of the Europa League table we have Porto, absolutely dominant this season. They have been outstanding both on a domestic and international level, confirming that status by already winning the championship with five games left to play, plus crushing the Russians by an aggregate of 10-2. Andre Villas-Boas pupils continue showing all of Europe reasons to be feared in next year’s Champions League.



Most of the pundits claim that this year we will have a all Portuguese final, with Porto and Benfica being the top candidates to take the trophy back home. It will certainly be a year to remember... 3 Portuguese teams at the semi-finals (that alone is history in the making), 15th final in a European competition...

From a Benfica perspective, it ends the 17 year long waiting to make it into a semi-final as well... So I would say we are making some good progress... and that semi-final looks good since we have a stronger side. But in football you never know... You can guess all you want, you can play with statistics, you can match up both starting eleven's and see who has the biggest names, the most players in shape etc... But still...
 It's impossible to predict the unpredictable...

But I'm allowed to dream...

Right?!

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