Fenerbahce target Benfica in Champions League qualifier

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ANKARA (Rahnuma): Turkish football club Fenerbahce will struggle to eliminate Portugal’s Benfica in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round’s second leg game in Istanbul on Tuesday, as the latter won the first leg 1-0 in Lisbon last week.

Benfica forward Franco Cervi’s deflected shot in the 69th minute gave Benfica the important 1-0 lead at Estadio da Luz last Tuesday.

If Fenerbahce eliminate Benfica, Turkish side will be in the playoff round.

Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic will officiate the match at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium — also called as Ulker Stadium for sponsorship reasons — that will kick off at 9 p.m. local time (1800GMT).

Third round tie winners will face PAOK or Spartak Moscow in playoffs round to enter the group stage in the tournament.

Losers of the tie will move into the UEFA Europa League group stages.

During a news conference on Monday, Benfica head coach Rui Vitoria said they are expecting a tough match but the team is ready.

“The 1-0 win in the first match is an advantage for us. But we will play against a tough opponent tomorrow. We try to score goals. They will play to win,” Vitoria said and added that they will have a difficult game but Benfica are ready for it.

Meanwhile, Benfica’s Spanish defender Alejandro Grimaldo sees the match in Istanbul as an “important one.”

“We won the match at our home and we trained very well for tomorrow’s match and expect a positive result,” Grimaldo added.

Meanwhile, Fenerbace head coach Phillip Cocu said: “We will play a different game at our home. Our fans showed the home match atmosphere in the league match on Saturday. The team and fans have to strive together. We have to show maximum performance. We will play to win and want to be in the next round.”

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