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Porto beats Benfica and wins the Portuguese Cup

Porto beats Benfica and wins the Portuguese Cup

The Dragons team won the Portuguese Cup for the 15th time in its history, defeating defending champion Benfica by a score of 81-78, in Viana do Castelo.

FC Porto won the Portuguese Cup for the 15th time in its history, defeating defending champion Benfica with a score of 81-78, in an exciting final of the competition, and the winner was not determined until the last (tenth) of a second, today, Sunday, in Viana. Castillo did.

The dragon's entry caused a sudden disruption to the sign. FC Porto quickly reached the scoreline 9-2 and 11 points ahead (15-4) before five minutes had passed. Benfica defended poorly and attacked even worse, watching helplessly as their rivals distanced themselves. Even the partial 5-0 score capped by Carter's hat-trick could not stop the Reds' difficulties, as they suffered another series of blue-and-white dominance, until 27-11, the largest margin at the time in the match (16), which was achieved at the end of the first period.

When the match resumed, Benfica showed signs of…life. Thomas Drechsel scored five points in a row (17 in the first half, Benfica's all-time top scorer) and brought his team closer to the scoreboard. But the reaction is short-lived. FC Porto regained its momentum under Barber's leadership (20 points in 20 minutes) and exposed the Eagle's weaknesses. In the fourth minute, the scoreboard numbers dropped to 18 points (38-20), which was the largest difference in the match, and reducing it to 13 was the best – and it was a lot! – Which the team, led by Norberto Alves, succeeded in managing until the end of the first half (49-36).

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In any case, Benfica's lead in the second half, albeit slight (25-22) given the accumulated delay in the disastrous first quarter, could be an indication of recovery and a balm of hope for the aspirations embodied in this cup final. Only half played…

The start of the third half confirmed Benfica's recovery, and the expectations for the match were reversed. Benfica were inspiring and FC Porto lost their way. With three minutes to go, the Dragons' lead had dropped as suddenly (or more!) as it had risen, following two 3-pointers from Broussard and an irresistible Drechsel. In the middle of the quarter, the difference between the two arch-rivals was only two points, and after one minute Benfica took the lead (57-54) with a hat-trick from Jose Silva. Anyone who got to the game at that point wouldn't believe what the first period was like.

After the madness of the transition, the Benfica team had to regain its energy and the last two minutes ended with a sense of balance, which was reflected in the scoreboard, with Porto taking an occasional lead (62-61), leaving everything open for the latter. a period. At this point, the two MPVs in the game were roughly even: Drechsel had 22 points and Barber had 20.

Feelings of uncertainty over who would win this final continued in the opening minutes of the fourth half, even though FC Porto remained in the lead. First by two points, then passing through the center of the room (5 m), increasing slightly to six.

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But Benfica had Drechsel (up to 29 points)… and after three minutes, the Dragons were (only) three points ahead. 30 seconds before the end of the match, Benfica leads by one goal! But 12 seconds later, FC Porto got from the free-throw line to win their 15th Portuguese Cup. Charlon Clough didn't miss either shot. After that, Benfica were unable to score at that time.