Vitória Guimarães defeated Benfica 2-1 in the finals of the Portuguese Cup on Sunday afternoon, giving the Cidade Berço club its first trophy in history. In contrast, the loss means a season without a trophy for Jorge Jesus’ Benfica club which will only put more pressure on club president Luís Filipe Vieira to make major changes.

Over a two-week period, Benfica conceded the domestic league to rivals FC Porto, lost to Chelsea in the Europa League finals and lost in the finals in the Portuguese Cup. Benfica’s fans hope for a historic treble have quickly turned to tragedy.

The match at Estádio Nacional in Jamor, near Lisbon began well for the favourites when Vitória defender Kanú’s clearance went in off Nicolas Gaitán to give Benfica the advantage at the half-hour mark. Benfica seemed in control at the half but disaster would soon strike.

Late in the second half, Benfica goalkeeper Artur’s poor clearance attempt fell to Vitoria’s Crivellaro in the middle of the pitch who passed it on to Soudani for the tying goal. Just moments later, Vitoria winger Ricardo Pereira did well to dribble past several Benfica defenders and fired a decent shot on goal. Artur misread the ball and it trickled in to give Vitória Guimarães the win.

Man of the Match Ricardo, along with teammate Tiago Rodrigues was playing his final match for the club after completing a transfer to FC Porto several weeks ago. The match did not lack drama after the final whistle either. Benfica striker Oscar Cardozo would confront and shove manager Jorge Jesus before he was restrained by several teammates.

Benfica’s disasterous finish to the season will unfortunately overshadow the terrific accomplishments by manager Rui Vitória and his young Vitória Guimarães squad. The Minho club who are based in the birthplace of Portugal’s first king win their first trophy in its 91 year history.

“We always believed in ourselves. The Benfica goal was unjust, because it went off a shoulder. At the half, we were very calm, I told the squad that we just had to raise our intensity. The young players deserve to be congratulated. We have some great talent. A large number of Portuguese do not know Guimarães but today we showed what it means to win,” manager Rui Vitória told RTP 1 television.

Guimarães striker Amido Baldé, who is another young player linked to a move abroad praised the club’s character. “We are fully deserving of this because of all the hard work we put in this season. We are very happy. We are a hard-working and humble squad.”

It was also a special accomplishment for former Benfica and Wolfsburg defender Alex who despite not playing in the final was a big part of the young club’s success this season. The 33-year-old captained the squad and is credited with mentoring many of its good young players.

“This was a hardworking squad, with a great amount of personal quality as well who were always well prepared for its opponents. What I often said to them was not always what they wanted to hear, but they never backed down from adversity on the pitch. I will always cherish this squad in my heart. It was a great pleasure and privilege to captain Vitória Sport Club in a year that will live on forever,” Alex said after the win.

Related Posts:

TRANSFER WINDOW: Several Premier League Clubs Chase Vitória de Guimarães Striker Amido Baldé

FC PORTO: Dragões Sign Ricardo And Tiago Rodrigues From Vitória de Guimarães

MATCH REVIEW: FC Porto Defeat Benfica To Go Top Of The Table

MATCH REVIEW: Benfica Lose Europa League Final On A Late Goal

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