Benfica match halted after Benfica player injures knee

Benfica beat Besiktas 2-0 in Friday’s Europa League Group E game but the Portuguese champions were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player and a second-half injury resulted in the game being abandoned on Friday.

Jorge Jesus’s side lost Sergio Oliveira to a suspected knee injury in the 12th minute and 18 minutes later they were taken off.

As a result, Benfica were officially disqualified, Besiktas got a 3-0 win at home and nine points and third place was taken by Slavia Prague.

Earlier, VfL Wolfsburg failed to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time when they conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to Sparta Prague to lose 2-1 on Friday and BATE Borisov beat Krasnodar 3-1 to finish third in Group C.

German giants Wolfsburg were also eliminated as Russia’s Zenit St Petersburg, the group winners on eight points, cruised past Vidi of Hungary 3-0 in the other game.

Pawel Wszolek gave Wolfsburg the lead on the hour but Sparta levelled through Zdenek Ondrasek with 15 minutes left.

Paul-Georges Ntep headed an injury-time winner for the visitors.

“Everything was nice until the last moments,” said Wolfsburg’s sporting director Bruno Labbadia. “Our playing style doesn’t fit the group or the tournament and we must give it another try.

“We couldn’t qualify for the second round for the first time in the club’s history. I’m sure if we stick together we can do it again.”


Swiss side BATE came back from a goal down in the second half to lead Spartak Moscow 3-1 in Russia.

Gershon Koffie gave Spartak the lead after 50 minutes before Valentin Stocker levelled in the 65th.

After the break Ivo Ilicevic put BATE ahead in the 72nd minute, Polish midfielder Patrik Schick scored three minutes later and Milos Krasic netted a third before stoppage time.

“They will be flying now for the Europa League,” BATE manager Mati Kujabi said about his team. “The boys knew what was coming and were ready.”

Rostov eliminated Napoli, 2-1, from the group stage, with Russian defender Dmitry Kombarov putting them ahead in the sixth minute. Lorenzo Insigne scored an own goal in the 27th but Petr Jiracek completed the victory in the 42nd.

German outfit Wolfsburg had played a match against Barcelona on Thursday. Barcelona lost 2-1 in Milan in the first leg.

Benfica were leading 1-0 at Besiktas when Oliveira went down in obvious pain. UEFA did not confirm the nature of the injury. The Romanian club held Benfica’s attackers back and the match was briefly stopped before the referee awarded a free kick.

Benfica players, accompanied by Besiktas supporters and playing without their star player, went on the attack, and after only 32 minutes, Oliveira was replaced by Jesus Corona.

Play continued and after a few more minutes, Valter Birsa’s header went over the bar and Nemanja Gudelj deflected a shot by Gonzalo Neves.

New Swansea signing Joao Cancelo began the second half for the hosts and two minutes later did well to knock the ball over but Virgil van Dijk’s header flew over the bar.


Associated Press Writers Daniella Matar in Italy and Oliver Teves in Buenos Aires contributed to this report.

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