Fenerbahce 1-0 Benfica

Fenerbahce's Egemen Korkmaz

Egemen Korkmaz's header gave Fenerbahce a deserved Europa League semi-final first-leg win over Benfica.

Korkmaz pounced on a error by Benfica's Melgarejo to nod in at the far post.

Fenerbahce midfielder Cristian missed a penalty seconds before half-time after Gokhan Gonul was clipped by Ola John.

The Turks, in their first European semi-final, also hit the woodwork through Moussa Sow and Dirk Kuyt, while Nicolas Gaitan clipped the post in a rare Benfica opportunity.

Benfica, who were eliminated from the Champions League group phase by Barcelona and Celtic, had not lost since dropping into the Europa League but looked a shadow of the side that had breezed through the previous stages.

Instead, the home side, backed by a fervent support inside the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, were well worth their victory in Istanbul.

Whether their slender advantage will be enough for them to become the first Turkish team to reach a European final since Galatasaray in the 2000 Uefa Cup remains to be seen.

Benfica have a formidable home record, having lost only to Barcelona at the Estadio da Luz this season, and will be confident of overturning their deficit in the return leg on 2 May.

But they will have to improve considerably on a performance where they only really threatened through Gaitan's second-half effort.

Fenerbahce's Cristian
Tearful midfielder Cristian is consoled by his Fenerbahce team-mates after his penalty miss

Few sightings of goal were forthcoming as the teams sized each other up in a competitive opening, before Fenerbahce's attacking play began to match the ferocity of their support.

Their first opportunity saw Gonul pounce on a loose pass in the Benfica midfield to slip in Pierre Webo, whose low right-wing cross was prodded wide by Sow.

Benfica were without influential skipper Luisao because of a thigh injury and they were missing the Brazilian centre-back's aerial prowess as an unmarked Sow headed Kuyt's right-wing cross against the crossbar.

The first half appeared to be petering out as it entered stoppage-time when Benfica forward John clumsily clipped the heels of Gonul inside his own penalty area.

Regular penalty-taker Cristian was given the task of punishing the Portuguese, but could only smash his low effort against the outside of Artur's right-hand post.

The Brazilian had to be consoled by his team-mates as he appeared to leave the pitch for the break in tears, but returned in a more composed state for the second half.

And the midfielder was instrumental as Fenerbahce pressed for the opener. His vicious 20-yard shot was helped wide by a scrambling Artur, before the goalkeeper had to be alert again as Raul Meireles thumped low towards his bottom corner.

Fenerbahce continued to press and moments later rattled the woodwork for a third time. Kuyt smartly turned inside the penalty area before arrowing a snapshot against the foot of Artur's left-hand post.

Finally, they were rewarded for their dominance when Korkmaz pounced after Melgarejo inexplicably headed another Cristian set-piece back into his own goalmouth.

Fenerbahce forward Dirk Kuyt:

"It was a great night for Turkish football. We may not have their quality but we have just as much fighting spirit as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund."

Benfica coach Jorge Jesus:

"Normally we are a team that delivers when we find opportunities, but tonight we couldn't do that.

"But the result is not too bad, we will remain hopeful until the last minute of the second leg. We will be much better in Lisbon."

Lineup, Bookings (7) & Substitutions (6)

Fenerbahce

  • 01 Demirel
  • 02 Korkmaz
  • 06 Yobo
  • 33 Ziegler
  • 77 Gonul
  • 05 Topal Booked
  • 14 Meireles (Ucan - 64' )
  • 16 Cristian Booked (Sahin - 86' )
  • 07 Sow (Krasic - 87' )
  • 11 Kuyt
  • 99 Webo Booked

Substitutes

  • 34 Gunok
  • 04 Irtegun
  • 21 Sahin
  • 27 Krasic
  • 38 Topuz
  • 48 Ucan
  • 23 Senturk

Benfica

  • 01 Artur
  • 14 Pereira Booked
  • 24 Garay
  • 25 Melgarejo
  • 33 Jardel
  • 10 Aimar Booked (Gaitan - 46' )
  • 15 Ola John Booked (Moreno - 64' )
  • 21 Matic
  • 89 Gomes Booked (Carlos Martins - 81' )
  • 07 Cardozo
  • 18 Eduardo Salvio

Substitutes

  • 13 Paulo Lopes
  • 03 Roderick Miranda
  • 17 Carlos Martins
  • 20 Gaitan
  • 11 Lima
  • 19 Moreno
  • 23 Urretaviscaya
Ref: Milorad Mazic
Att: 51,000

Match Stats

Shots

11 5

On target

5 3

Corners

8 4

Fouls

6 17

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:06 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +2:32

Centre by Moreno Rodrigo, Selcuk Sahin manages to make a clearance.

90:00 +0:13

Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the direct free kick.

90:00 +0:13 Booking

Booking Pierre Webo is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +0:08

Pierre Webo is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

88:43

The ball is sent over by Eduardo Salvio.

87:39

The ball is delivered by Nicolas Gaitan, Volkan Demirel makes a comfortable save.

86:54

Nemanja Matic takes a shot. Egeman Korkmaz gets a block in.

85:22 Substitution

Substitution (Fenerbahce) makes a substitution, with Milos Krasic coming on for Moussa Sow.

85:22 Substitution

Substitution Selcuk Sahin replaces Cristian Baroni.

84:57

The ball is crossed by Lorenzo Melgarejo.

84:06

Moreno Rodrigo concedes a free kick for a foul on Reto Ziegler. Volkan Demirel takes the direct free kick.

82:54

Cristian Baroni takes the inswinging corner, Lorenzo Melgarejo manages to make a clearance.

81:58

Pierre Webo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ezequiel Garay. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

81:26

The ball is delivered by Salih Ucan, clearance by Ezequiel Garay.

80:33 Substitution

Substitution (Benfica) makes a substitution, with Jorge Carlos Martins coming on for Andre Gomes.

77:51

Free kick awarded for a foul by Reto Ziegler on Eduardo Salvio. Eduardo Salvio takes the direct free kick. Centre by Nicolas Gaitan, Volkan Demirel makes a save.

74:01

Free kick awarded for a foul by Lorenzo Melgarejo on Gokhan Gonul. Cristian Baroni takes the direct free kick.

71:37 Goal scored

Goal! - Egeman Korkmaz - Fenerbahce 1 - 0 Benfica Egeman Korkmaz finds the back of the net with a headed goal from close in. Fenerbahce 1-0 Benfica.

70:50

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Cristian Baroni from the left by-line.

68:42

Oscar Cardozo challenges Dirk Kuyt unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Cristian Baroni.

67:40

Eduardo Salvio challenges Egeman Korkmaz unfairly and gives away a free kick. Cristian Baroni takes the direct free kick.

66:42

The assistant referee flags for offside against Pierre Webo. Direct free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

65:49

Moreno Rodrigo concedes a free kick for a foul on Mehmet Topal. Cristian Baroni delivers the ball, Mehmet Topal takes a shot. Save by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

64:49

Oscar Cardozo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Egeman Korkmaz. Volkan Demirel takes the free kick.

63:04

Corner taken right-footed by Nicolas Gaitan from the right by-line, Egeman Korkmaz manages to make a clearance.

63:04 Substitution

Substitution Moreno Rodrigo on for Ola John.

63:04 Substitution

Substitution Salih Ucan comes on in place of Raul Meireles.

60:14

Short corner taken by Cristian Baroni, Raul Meireles takes a shot. Blocked by Vieira Jardel.

59:34

Centre by Mehmet Topal, Victorio Maxi Pereira gets a block in. Corner taken right-footed by Cristian Baroni.

57:59

Corner taken by Nicolas Gaitan from the right by-line, clearance made by Pierre Webo.

57:08

The official flags Moussa Sow offside. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

56:06

Moussa Sow is ruled offside. Guilherme Artur Moraes restarts play with the free kick.

54:54

Unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt by Ola John results in a free kick. Gokhan Gonul takes the direct free kick.

53:44

Nicolas Gaitan produces a curled left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that hits the post.

52:56

Oscar Cardozo takes a shot. Volkan Demirel makes a comfortable save.

50:54

Effort from inside the area by Dirk Kuyt bounces off the post.

50:02

Lorenzo Melgarejo is caught offside. Free kick taken by Volkan Demirel.

49:30

Nicolas Gaitan restarts play with the free kick.

49:30 Booking

Booking Mehmet Topal booked for unsporting behaviour.

49:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mehmet Topal on Ola John.

48:08

Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save by Guilherme Artur Moraes. Corner taken right-footed by Cristian Baroni.

47:12

Cristian Baroni takes a shot. Save made by Guilherme Artur Moraes. Inswinging corner taken by Cristian Baroni.

46:30

Vieira Jardel gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pierre Webo. Cristian Baroni takes the free kick.

45:01

The match restarts for the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution (Benfica) makes a substitution, with Nicolas Gaitan coming on for Pablo Aimar.

45:00 +2:03 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

45:00 +0:32 Penalty

Penalty taken by Cristian Baroni and missed.

45:00 +0:32 Booking

Booking Ola John receives a yellow card.

45:00

Ola John challenges Gokhan Gonul unfairly and gives away a Penalty.

44:33

Vieira Jardel challenges Pierre Webo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mehmet Topal.

43:20

A cross is delivered by Moussa Sow.

41:02

The ball is swung over by Victorio Maxi Pereira, clearance made by Egeman Korkmaz.

40:02 Booking

Booking Victorio Maxi Pereira receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

37:09

The free kick is swung in right-footed by Cristian Baroni, clearance by Ezequiel Garay.

37:09 Booking

Booking Booking for Cristian Baroni.

36:40 Booking

Booking Pablo Aimar goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.

36:33

Unfair challenge on Raul Meireles by Pablo Aimar results in a free kick.

36:22

Raul Meireles sends in a cross, Ezequiel Garay makes a clearance.

35:00

Long range shot by Dirk Kuyt goes wide right of the net.

33:54

The referee blows for offside against Pablo Aimar. Volkan Demirel takes the direct free kick.

33:37

Pierre Webo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Vieira Jardel. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

33:03

Foul by Ola John on Moussa Sow, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gokhan Gonul.

32:07

Pablo Aimar takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Joseph Yobo. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Pablo Aimar, save by Volkan Demirel.

30:22

Cristian Baroni takes the direct free kick.

30:22 Booking

Booking Andre Gomes is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

30:15

Andre Gomes gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Pierre Webo.

29:03

Moussa Sow produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.

28:01

Mehmet Topal takes a shot. Pablo Aimar gets a block in. Corner from the right by-line taken by Cristian Baroni, clearance made by Vieira Jardel.

27:09

The ball is crossed by Gokhan Gonul, clearance by Vieira Jardel.

26:41

Pierre Webo fouled by Vieira Jardel, the ref awards a free kick. Mehmet Topal restarts play with the free kick.

26:16

Victorio Maxi Pereira sends in a cross, save by Volkan Demirel.

25:55

The ball is delivered by Gokhan Gonul.

20:29

The assistant referee flags for offside against Cristian Baroni. Direct free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

19:21

Dirk Kuyt fouled by Ola John, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Cristian Baroni from right channel.

19:03

Unfair challenge on Cristian Baroni by Andre Gomes results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Raul Meireles.

18:46

Pierre Webo is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Guilherme Artur Moraes.

17:46

The ball is crossed by Dirk Kuyt, Moussa Sow takes a shot.

16:40

The ball is crossed by Pierre Webo, Close range effort by Moussa Sow goes wide of the right-hand upright.

12:42

Reto Ziegler delivers the ball.

11:55

Shot from inside the area by Pablo Aimar clears the bar.

10:30

Vieira Jardel challenges Pierre Webo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Raul Meireles.

9:31

The offside flag is raised against Pierre Webo. Guilherme Artur Moraes takes the free kick.

7:53

Handball decision goes against Egeman Korkmaz. Lorenzo Melgarejo takes the direct free kick.

7:07

Raul Meireles produces a cross, clearance made by Victorio Maxi Pereira. Inswinging corner taken by Cristian Baroni, clearance by Ezequiel Garay.

4:03

Eduardo Salvio takes a shot. Save by Volkan Demirel.

3:07

Dirk Kuyt challenges Lorenzo Melgarejo unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ezequiel Garay restarts play with the free kick.

1:31

Unfair challenge on Nemanja Matic by Raul Meireles results in a free kick. Nemanja Matic takes the direct free kick.

0:00

The referee starts the match.

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