Benfica Ends Champions League Campaign with 1-0 Win over AEK

first_imgLISBON, Portugal (AP) — Benfica finished its Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over AEK Athens on Wednesday.Both teams were out of contention for the knockout stage, and Benfica had already secured third place and a spot in the round of 32 of the Europa League.Alex Grimaldo scored the winner in the 88th minute with a well-struck free kick over the wall.“We had a good match, deserved the win,” Grimaldo said. “We tried until the end, I am happy that we did it.”Bayern Munich won Group E with 14 points, two more than Ajax. Benfica finished with seven points, while AEK Athens had zero after losing all of its games. Bayern and Ajax drew 3-3 in Amsterdam on Wednesday.With nothing at stake in Lisbon, both teams took risks in what was an entertaining match at the Stadium of Light. The teams created several chances back-and-forth in the second half, with the hosts coming closest to scoring.Haris Seferovic hit the crossbar with a header in the 70th, and about 10 minutes later Gedson Fernandes entered the area free from markers but had his shot saved by AEK goalkeeper Vassilis Barkas.AEK went a man down in the 86th when Kostas Galanopoulos pulled Fernandes’ jersey and was shown a second yellow card. Coach Marinos Ouzounidis was sent off a few minutes later after complaining excessively.“We knew beforehand we were the minnows of our group and unfortunately we were constantly reminded of it in every match,” Ouzounidis said.Benfica had won 3-2 in Greece.AEK’s Niklas Hult, 2nd form right, argues with referee Robert Madden as Benfica’s players celebrate after scoring their die opening goal during the Champions League group E soccer match between Benfica and AEK Athens at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo shots from free kick to score his side opening goal during the Champions League group E soccer match between Benfica and AEK Athens at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo shots from free kick to score his side opening goal during the Champions League group E soccer match between Benfica and AEK Athens at the Luz stadium in Lisbon, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more