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Monday, October 31, 2005 

Naval 1 - 1 Benfica



Two great goals from Simão had given Benfica a 2-1 victory against Leixões SC in the Portuguese Cup at Estádio do Bessa on Wednesday but the Benfica captain later went off with a thigh injury that kept him out of Saturday's game against Naval 1º Maio. Missing his influence, Benfica were held to a draw.

Besides Simão, coach Ronald Koeman was also without goalkeepers José Moreira (knee) and Quim (groin strain), out for six months and one week respectively. Brazilian winger Geovanni was omitted due to personal problems, but Petit and Nuno Assis both returned. Léo and João Pereira replaced Simão and Geovanni.

Benfica began well but could not convert their chances, while Andrei Kariaka and Nuno Gomes faded after a bright first half as heavy rain took its toll on the pitch. Bruno Fogaça scored for Naval in the 71st minute after a fast counterattack down the right. The Portuguese champions reacted swiftly and Nuno Gomes equalised ten minutes from time, after some great work by Nélson on the right wing.

Koeman said: "We felt the absence of Simão. It is only natural. Nevertheless, we played very well and we dominated the entire match. We deserved more than just a draw, but we did not take advantage of the opportunities we created. It was difficult because of the heavy pitch."

SUPERLIGA

Pos. Team Pld Pts
1. Braga 8 20
2. Nacional 9 18
3. Porto 9 18
4. Benfica 9 17
5. Rio Ave 9 14

Source: uefa.com, slbenfica.pt

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