14 September 2022
Nothing could separate Juventus and Benfica at the Final Four a few months ago - eventually decided on penalties - and nothing could split the two teams today either in the UEFA Youth League Group stages. The game finished 1-1 thanks to a late, late equaliser from the Bianconeri.
The Bianconeri had to put the defeat to PSG, especially the first half performance, behind them as they faced the reigning Under 19 European champions. As expected, Benfica started strongly with Diego Moreira providing the thrust. First he set up Precatado, who called into action Scaglia on 4 minutes, then he had a shot himself from a free-kick, which nicked the crossbar.
Having held firm, Juventus came out of their shell and on 23' Hasa's effort was tipped wide before Turco hit the post 13 minutes later.
The last minutes of the first half were nervy, with the Bianconeri reduced to 10 players following the sending off of Scaglia for a foul as last man.
Benfica took advantage of their extra player at the start of the second half, and took the lead just after the hour mark through Luis Semedo.
Juve were anything but down and out, however. With 10 minutes to play, Turco came close, and Mancini forced a great save from the Benfica goalkeeper, Gomes, whose match was far from over. An incredible run by Maressa was stopped only by a foul inside the area in the 90th minute.
A last minute penalty. Huijsen stepped up but Gomes managed to keep his effort out - however, on the rebound, Mbangula reacted the quickest to slam the ball home. Incredibly, Benfica then broke up the field and found the net, only for the effort to be ruled out for offside.
Juventus kept their qualification hopes alive, once again proving that the Bianconeri never give up.
"We earned a good point today, considering how the game went and the opponents we were facing - the reigning champions and favourites to retain their title. In eleven against eleven we had good scoring chances, we played well, looking for depth, knowing that they would come to press us. The red card changed the game but in a positive way - we continued to fight. We knew it would be a long game, until the last ball was kicked, because that's how football is. These games are important for the growth of the players, I am happy with their reaction, through experience they are beginning to understand the moments of the game when tiredness creeps in and you have to manage the games in a certain way."
UEFA Youth League - Matchday 2
JUVENTUS 1-1 BENFICA (HT: 0-0)
Scorers 63' Luis Semedo (B), 90'+3 Mbangula (J)
Juventus: Scaglia (cap), Rouhi, Huijsen, Dellavalle, Turco N., Hasa, Turco S. (61' Mancini), Ripani, Galante (36' Daffara), Yildiz (59' Mbangula), Nonge (61' Maressa).
Subs not used: Domanico, Moruzzi, Morleo.
Coach: Paolo Montero.
Benfica: André Gomes (cap), João Tomé, Coser, Hugo Faria, Guilherme Montóia, Nuno Félix (59' Ferreira), José Precatado (59' Dju), N'Dour (79' Hugo Félix), Luis Semedo (88' João Veloso), Diego Moreira (88' Iuri Moreira), João Neves.
Subs not used: Ferreira, Diogo Spencer.
Coach: Luis Manuel Correia Silva Araújo.
Assistants: Kristensson, Svensson.
Bookings: 12' Nonge (J), 43' João Neves (B), 88' Dju (B), 90'+4 Maressa (J), 90'+5 Rouhi (J), 90'+6 João Veloso (B).
Espulsi: 35' Scaglia (J)