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VfB Stuttgart 0-2 Benfica: Match Report
Benfica breeze past StuttgartGoals from Eduardo Salvio and Oscar Cardozo guided Benfica into the last 16 of the Europa League after they beat Stuttgart 2-0 on the night and 4-1 on aggregate.Stuttgart were looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit but it was the Portuguese side who went ahead through Salvio just after half an hour.Benfica then made certain of their progress when Cardozo struck in the 78th minute.The hosts' misery was compounded when Zdravko Kuzmanovic was sent off for a professional foul in injury time.Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia dropped goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in favour of Marc Ziegler as he looked to stabilise the side who are second bottom of the Bundesliga.And Ziegler was called upon twice in the first seven minutes.Nicolas Gaitan lobbed a left-footed shot from 20 yards which Ziegler tipped over the bar and, from the resulting corner, he had to be alert to catch Anderson Luisao's header.Stuttgart forced their way into the game after a quarter of an hour when Shinji Okazaki's right-footed shot called Jimenez Roberto into action.Sven Schipplock also tested the goalkeeper's reflexes before Benfica responded through Fabio Coentrao and Cardozo in what was proving to be an attacking game.Stuttgart almost scored in the 22nd minute but Roberto managed to get down and tip Martin Harnik's shot round the post.Benfica then took the lead when Salvio sent a right-footed shot into the net from 20 yards.Franco Jara attacked early in the second half for Benfica, his close-range shot blocked by Ziegler, who also saved from Gaitan.However, the goalkeeper was taken off with an injury to be replaced by Ulreich, who made a fantastic save from Cardozo, tipping over his powerful shot.Stuttgart had created little of attacking note but Okazaki had a close-range header well tipped over.However, the tie was all over soon after when Cardozo sent a left-footed 25-yard free-kick into the bottom right-hand corner.Okazaki kept plugging away, having a shot tipped round the post with Ulreich saving well from Jorge Carlos Martins.Stuttgart's woe was complete when Kuzmanovic was sent off in the seventh minute of injury time for a foul on Jorge Carlos Martins.
VfB Stuttgart 0-2 Benfica: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game as it happened.
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