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Result: Benfica fight back to beat Newcastle

Newcastle United relinquish an early lead before suffering a 3-1 loss to Benfica in the first leg of their Europa League tie in Lisbon.

Newcastle United's hopes of Europa League qualification were dealt a blow on Thursday night following a 3-1 loss to Benfica.

Newcastle players congratulate Papiss Cisse after his goal against Benfica on April 4, 2013© AP Photos

The visitors started brightly, with Papiss Cisse wasting an early chance to put the Magpies ahead when he miscued his shot following a fast counter-attack.

However, Cisse made no mistake with his second chance of the night, finishing well from Moussa Sissoko's expertly delivered cross into the area.

Newcastle continued to threaten, with Cisse striking the post midway through the first half but Benfica grew in confidence as the game progressed.

Rodrigo equalised for the hosts in the 25th minute with a simple finish after Tim Krul had denied Oscar Cardozo.

Benfica took control of the match in the second half and should have been ahead when Rodrigo picked out Cardozo but the striker lacked composure and drilled his shot wide.

However, the home crowd were not made to wait long to celebrate a second goal, with Davide Santon's poor back pass allowing Lima to slot the ball past Krul.

The first leg result was put beyond doubt in the 71st minute when Steven Taylor was adjudged to have handled inside the area to give Cardozo the opportunity to score from the penalty spot at the second time of asking.

Benfica finished the game impressively, with Nicolas Gaitan stinging Tim Krul's palms in the final stages as Newcastle held on to prevent further damage.

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Newcastle players congratulate Papiss Cisse after his goal against Benfica on April 4, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Benfica1210113472731
2Porto119202872129
3Sporting Lisbon119201741329
4Estoril PraiaEstoril11551169720
5PortimonensePortimonense12624139420
6Braga115421714319
7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes114431310316
8Gil Vicente123541515014
9AroucaArouca123451318-513
10TondelaTondela114071721-412
11Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira11254914-511
12BoavistaBoavista122551522-711
13FamalicaoFamalicao122461620-410
14Vizela11173916-710
15MoreirenseMoreirense121651422-89
16BelenensesBelenenses12156722-158
17Maritimo111461017-77
18Santa ClaraSanta Clara11137723-166

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