Nine players, a goalkeeper outfield, 7-0 down at half-time – Belenenses SAD forfeit farcical Benfica game

By Sports Desk November 27, 2021

Portugal's Primeira Liga was the laughingstock of Europe on Saturday due to the farcical scenes that took place in Benfica's trip to coronavirus-ravaged Belenenses SAD, a game that was ultimately forfeited by the hosts.

B-SAD, a controversial offshoot of historic club Belenenses, were plunged into crisis this week when 13 of their players tested positive for coronavirus – among them was Cafu Phete, who had recently been in South Africa, where the new Omicron variant of the virus was first detected.

Despite the depleted nature of their squad, club president Rui Pedro Soares confirmed earlier in the day they had not asked Benfica to postpone the fixture, seemingly to the dismay of players who published coordinated messages to social media as the match kicked off in Oeiras, Lisbon.

The statement read: "Football only has heart if it is competitive. Football only has heart if it is really sporting. Football only has heart when it is an example of public health. Today, football lost its heart."

B-SAD started the match with just nine players on the pitch, many of whom were members of their Under-23s side, and that included goalkeeper Joao Monteiro playing in defence.

Benfica were ahead inside 24 seconds thanks to an own goal by Eduardo Kau; while the visitors did not score again until the 14th minute, the writing was on the wall.

They were 7-0 up at half-time thanks to a Darwin Nunez hat-trick, Haris Seferovic brace and a solitary Julian Weigl goal.

"What is this? Am I the only one who doesn't understand why the game hasn't been postponed?" asked former Benfica player Bernardo Silva on Twitter.

B-SAD did return to the pitch for the second half but with only seven players, and as soon as the game resumed, the hosts put the ball into touch and another player dropped to the turf citing an injury.

The referee called a halt to the game due to B-SAD running out of players, with teams required to have a minimum of seven on the pitch.

It has not been confirmed whether Benfica will be awarded just a 3-0 win, as is standard for a forfeiture, or take the full 7-0 scoreline.

Related items

  • 'He's worthy of the Ballon d'Or again' – Is Luka Modric coming for Messi's prize? 'He's worthy of the Ballon d'Or again' – Is Luka Modric coming for Messi's prize?

    Real Madrid president Florentino Perez predicted Luka Modric could win the Ballon d'Or for a second time after his masterclass in the Supercopa de Espana final.

    Croatian playmaker Modric scooped France Football's prestigious prize for world player of the year after his dazzling performances at the 2018 World Cup.

    He will turn 37 before the Qatar World Cup in November, but Modric's goal and overall display in the 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday showed he remains a force.

    Thibaut Courtois saved a late penalty from Raul Garcia as Madrid made sure of a first trophy since Carlo Ancelotti returned to the club for a second spell as coach.

    Asked about Courtois and Modric, Perez said after the game: "Without wanting to brag, they are the two best in their position. The best goalkeeper and Modric in enviable form, worthy of winning the Ballon d'Or again."

    Modric's passing accuracy this season is an outstanding 90.41 per cent, and even in the opposition half it is 89.03 per cent, which are impressive numbers given he plays a lot of high-tariff balls.

    He has created eight big chances for others this season already and has five assists, while the shot he sent arcing past Unai Simon in the 38th minute at the King Fahd Stadium gave Modric a first goal of the season. He took away the most valuable player award from Sunday's game.

    Perez is still probably getting excited too soon, given the Ballon d'Or is an end-of-year prize, but Modric was excellent, and midfield colleague Toni Kroos had a 95 per cent accuracy rate from his game-high 100 passes, helping ensure Madrid had the game tied up before withstanding a late flurry of attacks from Athletic.

    Former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi took the Ballon d'Or for a record seventh time last year, with even Robert Lewandowski's Bayern Munich goalscoring feats not enough to knock the Argentine great off his accustomed top spot in the vote.

     

    Madrid should win more silverware this season. They lead LaLiga, have a Copa del Rey last-16 clash with Elche on Thursday, and remain in the Champions League, albeit with a tough tie against Paris Saint-Germain coming up next in that competition.

    Perez enthused about the prospects for this Ancelotti stint, saying of Madrid's early success: "It means a lot."

    Quoted in Marca, Perez said: "We always want to win everything, they taught us that since we were little. This year it was 60 years since I became a member, and that's how we were educated. I work along the lines that Santiago Bernabeu set for us, and I am happy because we have won the first title."

    Courtois did not particularly guess right for Garcia's penalty, as much as guess late, meaning his outstretched leg could reach the ball down the middle as the rest of his body lurched to the right.

    "I was hesitating between going to the right or staying in the middle," the Belgian goalkeeper told #Vamos, "and that's why I kept my foot there and I was able to stop it. If not, we would have had a heart-stopping final few minutes."

  • Atalanta 0-0 Inter: Nerazzurri's Serie A winning streak comes to a halt Atalanta 0-0 Inter: Nerazzurri's Serie A winning streak comes to a halt

    Inter's run of eight straight Serie A wins came to an end on Sunday as the reigning champions were held to a 0-0 draw by Atalanta.

    Simone Inzaghi's side won the Supercoppa Italiana in midweek with almost the last kick of the game, but there was no such drama at the Gewiss Stadium as the visitors missed the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table.

    Edin Dzeko was guilty of a glaring miss in the second half, with Inter failing to score in a league game for the first time this season. 

    The result means Inter remain top – two points clear of bitter rivals Milan – while Atalanta stay fourth, one point ahead of Juventus.

    Inter dominated possession in the early stages, but did not threaten the Atalanta goal until the 26th minute when Juan Musso superbly pawed away Alexis Sanchez's powerful strike.

    Atalanta had to wait until the 39th minute for their first effort on target, Matteo Pessina's header comfortably kept out by Samir Handanovic.

    The Inter goalkeeper denied Pessina again soon after the interval, racing off his line to thwart the forward after an incisive move from the hosts. 

    Dzeko's attempt was repelled by Musso at the other end and the 35-year-old inexplicably headed over from four yards with 20 minutes remaining. 

    Handanovic superbly denied Luis Muriel in the 80th minute after Alessandro Bastoni had been caught out, while Danilo D'Ambrosio squandered the opportunity to seal all three points for the visitors late on when he fired into the side netting with only Musso to beat

  • Algeria 0-1 Equatorial Guinea: Reigning AFCON champions suffer shock defeat Algeria 0-1 Equatorial Guinea: Reigning AFCON champions suffer shock defeat

    Algeria's Africa Cup of Nations title defence hangs in the balance following a 1-0 defeat by Equatorial Guinea.

    Esteban Obiang struck 20 minutes from time at Stade omnisport de Douala to lift the National Thunder to second place in Group E.

    The result also condemned Algeria to a first defeat in this competition since a 2-1 reverse against Tunisia in 2017, while they must now beat Ivory Coast in their final group game to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

    Despite only enjoying 33 per cent of the possession, Equatorial Guinea had the better first-half chances. Oscar Siafa drew a smart save out of Rais M'Bolhi, while Iban Salvador's rasping long-range drive was just wide of the target.

    Algeria had the ball in the net at the other end, but Baghdad Bounedjah was denied by the offside flag.

    The Desert Warriors continued to dominate possession, but were hit by a 70th-minute sucker punch as a low corner was flicked on by Josete Miranda, before Obiang applied the finishing touch at the far post.

    Algeria pushed for the equaliser as the clock ticked down, but were unable to preserve their nine-match unbeaten run at the Africa Cup of Nations and are still seeking their first goal in this year's event.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.