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.

Newcastle players congratulate Papiss Cisse after his goal against Benfica on April 4, 2013
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Half-Time Report: Newcastle, Benfica level at half time
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Porto1815304693748
2Sporting Lisbon19145042113147
3Benfica19144146123446
4Braga19131537191840
5Rio AveRio Ave1910362617933
6Maritimo198561720-329
7Vitoria de GuimaraesGuimaraes198292734-726
8ChavesChaves197572428-426
9BoavistaBoavista197392024-424
10TondelaTondela196492329-622
11BelenensesBelenenses195591625-920
12Feirense1962111724-720
13PortimonensePortimonense194692431-718
14Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira194692134-1318
15MoreirenseMoreirense1936101530-1515
16Desportivo das AvesAves1935111631-1514
17Vitoria de SetubalSetubal192891935-1614
18Estoril PraiaEstoril1833121538-2312
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