Half-Time Report: Newcastle, Benfica level at half time

Newcastle players congratulate Papiss Cisse after his goal against Benfica on April 4, 2013
© AP Photos
Newcastle United fail to retain their early lead in Portugal and head into the break against Benfica drawing 1-1.

Papiss Cisse's crucial away goal has improved Newcastle United's chances of progressing in the Europa League, with the Magpies currently drawing 1-1 with Benfica.

Newcastle started brightly, with Cisse breaking free of the Benfica defence in the opening minutes but he failed to make the breakthrough with a tame effort.

However, Cisse atoned for his early mistake in the 12th minute as he fired home from Moussa Sissoko's accurate delivery to give the visitors the lead.

Cisse was in the thick of the action once again midway through the first half, striking a deflected effort against the post as the Magpies continued their impressive beginning to the contest.

Benfica equalised in the 25th minute when Tim Krul was forced to parry Oscar Cardozo's powerful effort, allowing Rodrigo to tap the ball in from close range.

Tito Vilanova
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