Champions League quarterfinal: Bayern Munich edge Benfica 1-0

Berlin, April 6 (IANS) Arturo Vidal’s early goal secured Bayern Munich a 1-0 victory over Benfica in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg.

During the match on Tuesday, the German giants controlled the proceedings from the kick-off to grab a bright start thanks to the second-minute opener by Vidal, Xinhua news agency reported.

However, Bayern were unable to build up on their early goal as Benfica gained a foothold into the game.

Pep Guardiola’s men seized the reins from the start to break deadlock with barley two minutes played after Juan Bernat’s pinpoint cross found Vidal, who nodded home from inside the box, at the far post.

The hosts pressed the Portuguese outfit into the defence to work out a number of promising chances. Robert Lewandowski missed the target before Benfica custodian Ederson denied Douglas Costa’s low effort with ten minutes on the clock.

“I am happy with the result because I know how good our opponents are. We head to Lisbon with the intention to advance into the next round,” Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said.

Suarez’s double helps Barcelona beat 10-man Atletico

Madrid, April 6 (IANS) FC Barcelona will take a slender 2-1 lead for their Champions League quarter-final second leg after two second half goals from Luis Suarez helped them beat 10-man Atletico Madrid.

An intense game between the two sides on Tuesday in the Spanish league was perhaps decided by Atletico striker Fernando Torres, who left the pitch with 55 minutes to play, Xinhua news agency reported.

Diego Simeone’s side was able to recall Diego Godin and youngster Lucas, who replaced injured Stefan Savic, in the heart of the visitors’ defence, while Barca named an unchanged starting 11 to that which lost to Real Madrid on Saturday.

It was clear from the start that Atletico had come to Barcelona to fight every inch of the way and although Barca went close through a Messi shot which went wide and a Neymar header which flashed over the bar, they were not finding space or time in midfield.

The home side were laying siege to the Atletico goal and Messi drew a full length save from Jan Oblak, before Suarez finally leveled the score on 62 minutes after diverting home Jordi Alba’ s misplaced shot.

Suarez scored Barca’s second 16 minutes from time with a brilliant header from Dani Alves’ cross as Barca kept their foot on the accelerator, prompting Simeone to introduce Thomas Teye for Antoine Griezmann.

Rafinha came on for Barca for his first appearance since injuring his knee in six months as Barca looked to retain their pressure in the closing minutes.

Dunga to remain Brazil coach

Rio de Janeiro, April 6 (IANS) Brazil coach Dunga will keep his job for this year’s Copa America and Olympic Games despite the team’s poor recent results, the Selecao’s technical director Gilmar Rinaldo has said.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after meeting Brazil football confederation officials here, Gilmar insisted Dunga’s position was not under threat, Xinhua news agency reported.

There were speculations that Dunga might be stripped of his role as Brazil’s Olympic coach, allowing him more time to focus on the full national side.

“It was a routine meeting,” Gilmar said. “The objective was to present a detailed report of the team and, most importantly, discuss our plans for the Copa America and Olympics.”

When asked if he and Dunga were guaranteed to remain in their roles for the Copa America and Olympics, Gilmar replied: “Honestly, that question surprises me. That was confirmed a year and a half ago.”

Brazil are currently sixth in the South American zone qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup with just two wins from their first six matches.

The centenary edition of the Copa America will be played in the US from June 3-26. The Olympic football tournament will be played in six Brazilian cities from August 3-20.

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