Tottenham travel to Portugal to play Benfica in the Europa League but with needing three goals to progress they have no realistic chance of going through to the next round.
1961-62 European Cup – Benfica
Tottenham have played in Portugal on five previous occasions in European competitions. The first experience was against tomorrow evening’s opponents, Benfica, in the European Cup semi-final in 1961-62. Spurs lost that tie and despite winning in the 2nd leg at White Hart Lane were knocked out at the semi-final stage. Spurs found themselves, two goals down in the opening 20 minutes, but pulled a goal back midway through the second half when Bobby Smith scored. Unfortunately Benfica added to their advantage with a goal in the 73rd minute. Jimmy Greaves had a goal disallowed for off-side immediately after the home side went ahead and with five minutes to play, a Smith effort suffered a similar fate.
1972-73 UEFA Cup – Vittoria Setubal
Spurs had a slender one goal advantage from the 1st leg but that was wiped out in the opening minutes. Setubal scored their second in the 65th minute to go 2 – 1 ahead on aggregate but four minutes later Martin Chivers scored the goal which took Spurs through on the away goals rule.
1984-85 UEFA Cup – SC Braga
Tottenham won the first game in the defence of the UEFA Cup with a comfortable 3 – 0 win in Portugal. Mark Falco scored twice and Tony Galvin completed the scoring in the 1st leg match. Spurs went on to score 6 in the second game at White Hart Lane.
1991-92 European Cup Winners’ Cup – Porto
Spurs held a 3 – 1 advantage from the first leg at home when Gary Lineker scored two and Gordon Durie got the third. In the 2nd leg Spurs held out for a scoreless draw to set up a tie in the next round against Feyenoord.
2006-07 UEFA Cup – Sporting Braga
Tottenham won 3 – 2 in an entertaining game which had more drama than Spurs fans would have deemed necessary in a game they had controlled from the kick-off. Despite creating numerous goal scoring opportunities from their early domination, Spurs didn’t take the lead until the 57th minute when Robbie Keane scored. In the 72nd minute Aaron Lennon who had created the opening goal, had a shot blocked but it fell for Steed Malbranque to double Spurs’ advantage. Sporting Braga responded with two goals in five minutes but Keane scored his second in the final minute to secure victory. Spurs won by a similar score in the home game.
2013-14 Europa League – Benfica
Facing a 3 – 1 deficit from last week’s game in Tottenham, Spurs must score three times without reply to progress to the next round. A 3 – 1 win would take the game to extra time and the possibility of penalties but with a weakened team through injuries in defence, Spurs are looking at damage limitation with no realistic hope of making it through to the quarter-finals.
Benfica are undefeated at home this season and defeated Paris Saint-Germain 2 – 1 in their final group game in the Champions League. The goal Christian Eriksen scored last Thursday was the first Benfica had conceded in 2014. They are a confident, well-organised team who will be looking to add to Tottenham’s and Tim Sherwood’s current misery.