Football

Nicolas Gaitan help Benfica seal treble

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Jorge Jesus' Benfica got their hands on a third trophy of the season by beating Rio Ave in the Portuguese Cup final on Sunday evening.

The Lisbon giants won 1-0 at the Estadio Nacional to add to earlier success in the Primeira Liga and the Portuguese League Cup.

A first-half goal from Nicolas Gaitan was enough for Benfica, who went into the game on the back of penalty heartache in the Europa League final just four days previously.

The triple success will delight all at Benfica after last year's season of near-misses whereby they missed out on the league title by one point, lost in the Europa League final in the last minute, were beaten in the Portuguese Cup final by two goals in the final eleven minutes and were knocked out of the League Cup semi-finals on penalties.

After a long hard season, tiredness could have been an issue for Benfica but Jesus chose to make just three changes from the side who played out 120 minutes of goal-less football on Thursday night.

It didn't take long for them to prove there was plenty left in the tank, and after twenty minutes Gaitan scored the only goal of the game.

The ball broke loose to the Argentina winger on the edge of the box and after taking a touch he rifled a shot into the top corner.

The win provided Benfica with their 25th Portuguese Cup success, a national record, and means they become the first team in history to complete a domestic treble since the League Cup was introduced in 2007.

It also ended a ten-year wait to lift the Portuguese Cup, known nationally as the Taca de Portugal.

Unlike Benfica, Rio Ave haven't enjoyed quite the same success in cup competition - they were also the beaten opposition when Benfica lifted the League Cup early this month.

However, they'll take heart in reaching two cup finals in the one season, having previously only reached one in their history - a 4-1 defeat to Porto in 1984.

Quite an achievement for rookie boss Nuno Espirito Santo who's only in his second season as a manager having previously worked as goalkeeping coach at Malaga and Panathinaikos.

Despite Rio Ave's impressive cup runs, the day belonged to Benfica and they'll have no doubt celebrated long into the night before the likes of Ezequiel Garay and Maxi Pereira head off to this summer's World Cup in Brazil.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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