Benfica’s losing pre-season run continued at the International Champions Cup (ICC) as the New York Red Bulls claimed another scalp with a 2-1 victory.
Rui Vitoria’s Primeira Liga champions made it three consecutive losses, coughing up a lead at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Pizzi had put them ahead but goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and a Mike Grella stunner secured victory for the Red Bulls.
For Jesse Marsch’s team, it marked a second straight win after they upset Chelsea in their ICC opener.
Benfica had suffered losses to Paris Saint-Germain and Fiorentina to start their campaign, but they went ahead in the seventh minute.
Pizzi played a one-two with Mehdi Carcela before composing himself to finish well into the corner.
Adel Taarabt tried a cheeky chip in the 17th minute that went over, and he would later shoot straight at Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.
Jonathan Rodriguez had a good chance to double Benfica’s lead when he got on the end of a bad back pass, only for a strong hand from Robles to deny him.
The MLS side looked unlikely to score, but they were gifted an equaliser in the 33rd minute.
Luisao, sent off in a penalty shoot-out loss to Fiorentina last time out, under-hit a pass directed at goalkeeper Ederson Moraes and Wright-Phillips finished well first time.
Pizzi had a chance to put Benfica back in the lead just before the break with an indirect free-kick, but it was blocked on the line by Dax McCarty.
Instead, the Red Bulls went ahead through Grella in the 56th minute.
The substitute and former Leeds United midfielder received a pass on the edge of the area, got rid of his markers with a nice turn before curling an effort into the top corner.
Benfica had a decent chance to level through Filip Duricic in the 67th minute, but the substitute’s header lacked the power to trouble Robles.
With seven minutes remaining, Benfica squandered another chance as Fernando Marcal fired over after a good run and cutback by Duricic.
Talisca had a free-kick cleared off the line moments later as Benfica suffered yet another loss.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!